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Home arrow newsitems arrow PACE President Maury-Pasquier to EF: Boost Geneva/UN - Strasbourg/CoE links, mainly on Human Rights+

PACE President Maury-Pasquier to EF: Boost Geneva/UN - Strasbourg/CoE links, mainly on Human Rights+

Written by ACM
Friday, 25 January 2019
pace_president_maurypasquier_eurofora_400


*Strasbourg/CoE/Angelo Marcopolo/- One of the Best Links between Geneva and Strasbourg, Global and European Human Rights matters : Dick Marty, Swiss Attorney, elected Politician, and former Long-Time CoE Assembly's (PACE) Rapporteur on "Hot" Issues, President of its Legal affairs Committee, and currently vice-President of the World Organisation against Torture (WOAT), invited here this week to discuss his new Book on "a certain Idea of Justice", in a special Side Event of PACE's Winter 2019 Plenary Session, gave an opportunity for "Eurofora" to question the New President of the PACE, Liliane Maury-Pasquier, herself a Swiss MEP, about her intentions on CoE - UNO a.o. relations in the foreseable Future:


- In her Reply to "Eurofora"s question, the PanEuropean CoE Assembly's President reminded, First of all, the simple but interesting, relevant Fact that she personally was "a Geneva Citizen myself", as she pointed out with a smile.


Indeed, in an unusual but practical move recently, f.ex. Pasquier had Recently chosen Geneva as her Meeting place for a Politically Important Encounter with the Vice-President of the Russian Duma, MEP Pyotr Tolstoi, on the "Hot" and thorny Issue of Russian MEPs' Voting and Participation Rights inside PACE, as well as Moscow's Financial Contribution to the CoE (See, f.ex. : http://www.eurofora.net/newsflashes/news/coeandrussiain2019.html, etc), Last Week.


- For that and other reasons, "I certainly wish to see a Rapprochement of Activities" as that suggested by "Eurofora" in this regard (Comp. Supra), PACE's President went on to confirm positively.


- This could occur Both "Between those Cities (Geneva and Strasbourg) and the Institutions" which are headquartered there (f.ex. CoE, EU Parliament, etc., vis a vis UNO, IPU, etc), she interestingly added.


Her 1st point obviously concerns also another, adjacent Idea promoted in parallel by "Eurofora"s CoFounder : that of the creation of systematic Links between "International Cities", i.e. Cities hosting various International Organisations, withOut being themselves National Capitals of any single State, (f.ex. Strasbourg, Geneva, New York, Saint Petersburg, Shanghai, etc). Inter alia, we have already Proposed that, in particular, to Strasbourg's "EuroMetropole"'s President, Robert Herrmann, who gladly endorsed our idea, as early as since 2015-2016, (See, f.ex.: http://www.eurofora.net/newsflashes/news/strasbourgmetropoleandairqualityiininternationalcities.html , http://www.eurofora.net/newsflashes/news/prefetfrataccistrasbourgasgebevanyorshanghai.html, etc), and even started, already, to at least partly Use it in real Practice, (f.ex. in the presentation of Strasbourg's "International Space University" [ISU] on 2018-2019, etc).


- Obviously, this concerns, "particularly the UNO, including at New York", (another International City : Comp. Supra), with which, "already this year", we had some joint moves, and this might develop further during the next year.


+ But, "in general, we (CoE) are interested for Cooperation with all Organisations which are active in SImilar Areas to ours", PACE's President added, in Wider Terms.


F.ex. already UNO's High Commissioner for Refugees notoriously has established a Permanent Representative to the CoE in Strasbourg, where, normaly, he should be Followed also by his Geneva collegue, the UNO's High Commissioner for Human Rights, and/or UNO's World Council of Human Rights (See also Infra), and/or UNO's Working Groups on "Missing" Persons, "Torture", etc.


Dick Marty is today the Only European in World Organisation against Torture (WOAT)'s Presidency, together with its Head : Hina Jilani, from Pakistan, and another vice-President :  Mokhtar Trifi, from Tunisia, (in addition to Various Other Members of its Executive Council, f.ex. from Russia, France, Germany, Guatemala, India, etc). WOAT is represented Both among CoE's PanEuropean Conference of "INGOS" in Strasbourg, and in relevant UN Organisations, including at the World Council on Human Rights, whose creation was one of the most Important Reforms at the Historic Heads of States/Governments' Summit on UNO's 60th Anniversary, back on 2005 in New York, that "Eurofora"s co-Founder had covered for the Press (publishing, then, mainly at "TCWeekly": Comp. f.ex. 2 Articles from NY, etc).


In the PACE he has Drafted several Key Reports of the CoE in particularly Delicate matters, including, f.ex., inter alia, also : on Cyprus' Enclaved People, living in the Territories controlled by Turkey's Invasion/Occupation Army, (a notoriously UNO Issue too); "Missing" Persons in Kosovo (f.ex. Serbs), and alleged Traffick of Human Organs, (where he reportedly suspected also Kosovo's current controversal President Hashim Thaçi, added to a Turkish "Doctor", etc, while also Advising "Eurofora" to always look for eventual "Ogans' Traffick" atrocities in cases of "Missing" Persons, f.ex. also in Cyprus, in Latin America, etc., but withOut limiting the Investigation only to that : See, f.ex. http://www.eurofora.net/newsflashes/news/martyonmissingorgantraffic.html) ; CIA's Redition Flights and alleged Secret Prisons, (a famous Global Medias' "Best Seller"), etc.


+ By a Timely Coincidence, almost at the Same Moment that "Eurofora" was speaking with PACE's President in her Office, at the Hemicycle, the Winter 2019 Plenary Session of the PanEuropean Organisation was Debating and Voting on a Report seeking to Strengthen the Implementation of CoE's Anti-Torture Watchdog, the "Committee to Prevent Torture" CPT, by Enhancing the Role of Elected MPs and MEPs, in National, European, Paneuropean and International Parliaments. I.e. an Issue obviously near to Dick Marty's current and former roles as European vice-President of the World Organisation Against Torture and f. PACE's Top MEP, (Comp. Supra), as well as to Luisa Ballin's, (experenced Journalist and f. Long-Time Director of Communications at the Inter-Parliamentary Union in Geneva, with whom "Eurofora"'s co-Founder had co-Organized an Important Collective Fact-Finding Trip of ACANU, the Association of Press Correspondents covering UNO-related Issues from its Geneva Headquarters, already as early as since 1993-1994, before crossing eachother anew at Montreux/Glyon on 1997, near Luzern on 2005, shortly missing each other in Geneva on 2011, but communicating briefly Later-on, etc).


_________________________________________________


+ "Eurofora" advanced further, Today, on Geneva - Strasbourg cooperation prospects (Comp. Supra), on the occasion of the "New Situation" for Europe, Nowadays on Syria, as USA is Withdrawing, while actors as Russia, Turkey, and EU Countries active in the International Coalition against ISIS' Deadly Islamist Terrorists, etc., that CoE's Secretary General, Thornbjorn Jagland, discussed with us Last Week in Strasbourg, (See: http://www.eurofora.net/newsflashes/news/coesgjaglandgermanmfamaasrussia.html), as well as this Week's Decision of the PACE to elect Cyprus' MEP George Lucaides as New President of its Middle-East and Arab World Committee, (See : http://www.eurofora.net/newsflashes/news/coeassemplymiddleeastarabworld.html) : - "Are there any foreseable New Developments to expect as far as CoE's potential role, more or less Together with the UNO, might be concerned, f.ex. around Syria, Middle East, and/or other South Mediterranean Countries ?", we asked President Pasquier.


 - Without Denying that concrete possibility, PACE's President carefully preferred, here, to reserve her Reply "Open" for the Future : - "I haven't yet thoroughly examined this kind of issues in depth, and it appears to be too early for the moment, so I can't reply to that point now, but I promise to do so as soon as possible", she told us, honestly, in substance.


=> Rendez-Vous taken, on that key point... And even in front of interested witnesses, since our exchange took place during the regular, Post-Session's Press-Briefing by PACE's Presidency to Strasbourg's European Journalists.

(../..)

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 slovenian__croatian_presidents_at_coe_400

    The recent paradox of freezing EU Talks with front-runner Croatia, while continuing controversial EU - Turkey talks, despite Zagreb's acceptance of Refugees' Human Rights to return, that Ankara refuses fex. in Cyprus, while both have "Good Neighborhood" problems vis a vis Slovenia, or Greece, Cyprus and Armenia respectively, can it be justified by the non-fullfilment of EU criteria, as Slovenia says, or, is it "Double Standards" ?    

The question became unavoidable after statements by Presidents of Slovenia and Croatia, Tuerk and Mesic, respectively, to "EuroFora", exclusively or among Strasbourg's journalists this week at the CoE, on the sidelines of its 2009 Summer University for Political Schools, which topically brought them together as successive key-note speakers.


    Comming only a few Months before EU checks Turkey's compliance to its commitments on Cyprus, etc., scheduled for December 2009, this obviously has a special importance for the coherence of EU Enlargement's principles.

     Suspension of EU Negotiations is a normal consequence in case of a Candidate Country's failure to fullfil EU Conditions, such as "Good Neighborhood relations", stressed at first Slovenian President Danilo Tuerk, current CoE's chair.

    But, regarding EU's Criteria,  there shouldn't be any "Double Standards",  reacted Croatian President Stjepan Mesic, commenting the fact that Turkey's controversial EU negotiations continue, while they were recently "freezed" in the case of Croatia, an "unquestionably European Country", which oficially accepts to respect Refugees Human Rights, contrary to Ankara's notorious refusals or reluctance.                                       

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                           - "EU itself has set as a Criterium (for EU Enlargement) the "Good Neighborhood relations",  and their absence justifies the "Suspension" EU Negotiations, (f.ex. with Croatia), because of a Border dispute affecting the territorial integrity of an EU Member Country, stressed Slovenian President, Danilo Tuerk, CoE's Chairman in office (May - November 2009), speaking to Journalists in Strasbourg including "EuroFora".    

Questioned earlier what "consequences on EU's Enlargement policy" can have the "Ban on EU Membership Negotiations", imposed to Croatia, Tuerk replied that "this question comes down to the fulfillement of (EU) Criteria for membership. One has to look at each Candidate Country ., from the point of view whether it fullfils the Criteria that EU has set. One of them are Good Neighborhood Relations, I'd like to remind. And also, there are other factors, such as Justice, Home affairs, Rule of Law, and others".


    - "Now, ..Candidate Countries are at Different Levels of fulfillement of Criteria", he observed.

    - " Croatia is obviously the closest to that. I'm rather optimistic : I think that in the coming Months we'll have an opportunity to look at all these issues constructively and hopefully we'll be able to make progress". "My main concern, at this point, is the situation in Bosnia : We haven't seen enough progres domesticaly. We haven't seen enough during ..political parties within their country.We need a New Energy, a new energetic move towards the Candidature for EU membership. "Other (Western Balkan) Countries (Serbia, Montenegro, FYROM, Albania) have been making soaring Progress, and I think that they should be ready, in a few Years, for the Candidate status".

    - "As far as the Western Balkans are concerned, .. nobody should be left outside" the EU, Slovenian's President concluded, ommitting to mention Turkey's controversial EU bid.

    - "This process may be seen as Slow, but..  Slovenia has also has also been exposed to various "Booms of Slowness" in our accession period. But now we can say that the process was relatively quick, because changes which occur after becoming EU member, are quite large, and they require proper Preparations before the (EU) membership becomes a new factor, an impacting line for a new (EU) member country".
----------------------------

EU "Solidarity" ?
------------------------------   

Slovenian statements made some participants from certain 3rd Countries as FYROM, etc. claim that "the Principle of EU Solidarity" would "produce a.. rising European Union Nationalism (sic !), against Non-EU Countries", as they said, asking unhappy foreign countries to form a "bloc" to exert pressure on the EU...    

But Croatian President Stjepan Mesic dismissed that, supporting "EU Integration", "after the Economy also in Political" issues, as "the achievement" of our times. In EU there is "diversity, but it's United", he stressed, "EU has to be United so that it can become a central factor of Peace" also at the surrounding areas, he replied.

croatian_president_mesic_ 

Speaking later exclusively to "EuroFora", the experienced twice President of Croatia, former President of the International "Non-Aligned" movement, denounced "Double Standards" in the way EU treats recently Croatia compared to Turkey :   

 - "I think that there shouldn't be Double Standards", stressed the Croatian President, in reply to a Question comparing the freeze of EU - Croatia talks, with the continuation of EU - Turkey talks, despite the fact that Croatia is an "unquestionably European country", while Turkey's EU bid is notoriously controversial.


    Mesic was reacting to the observation that, even if he confirmed his "respect of Refugees' Human Rights to return, etc. (See infra), nevertheless, EU talks are suspended with Croatia.. While for oher, controversial candidates, who refuse to respect Refugees' Rights to return, etc., as fex. Turkey does in occupied Cyprus and elsewhere, EU negotiations continue".

    - "I believe that Croatia's accession will confirm that all European Countries who fulfill all of the Conditions and achieve European Standards, have to join the EU. There shouldn't be any Double Standards", went on to add in reply President Mesic.

    In this relation, Croatia's President found "of paramount importance", CoE's "mechanisms enforcing ECHR's judgements"
    
    - "On Refugees and Displaced persons, the process will be completed only after the last person demanding to return will be allowed to do so !", President Mesic Croatia stressed earlier, setting a general standard of obvious importance also for otherr candidates, as f.ex. Turkey, often accused to exclude or heavily restrict Greek Cypriot Displaced persons' return to their Family Homes and ancestral land, provoke difficulties to Turkish-Kurd IDPs return to their home regions at the South-East, etc.

    Some "2.000 People are still reported Missing" in former Yugoslavia, for some Years, (as in Cyprus, modern Europe's oldest case, for 3 Decades. Nagorno-Karabach, Tcecnya in Russia, etc, more recently), and Investigations "will only be completed after establishing the fate of the last one of them", he added.
    
    Speaking earlier on "War Crimes", President Mesic stressed that "Leaders are responsible for (the) Wars (of the Past), not the People", and called against Impunity :  "Individuals have to be held Responsible for Crimes. International Penal Tribunals have to persecute those individuals", perpetrators of War Crimes, he underlined.

    Such statements naturally made Mesic rather popular at ECHR, whose President, French EuroJudge, Professor Jean-Paul Costa, looked particularly smiling when he welcomed him later on Wednesday afternoon, after Slovenian President Daniko Tuerk earlier this week.
           

***

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