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Home arrow newsitems arrow Foreign Minister Hague: ECHR reform, Internet Freedom, Non-Discrimination top British CoE presidency

Foreign Minister Hague: ECHR reform, Internet Freedom, Non-Discrimination top British CoE presidency

Written by ACM
Monday, 07 November 2011


Protection of "Freedom of Expression at the Internet", including against Cyber-Attacks and some Blocking Countries, a renewed push in ECHR's reform process, started since the landmark February 2010 Ministerial Conference at Interlaken (Switzerland : See "EuroFora"s NewsReports from the spot), as well as fight against Discrimination, figure among the incoming British CoE Presidency (11/2011-5/2012) priorities, stressed Foreign Secretary William Hague, speaking to Journalists in Strasbourg, including "EuroFora" :


 It's the 1st time that the UK heads CoE's Ministerial Committee, its highest political body, "since 1993", i.e. 18 Years earlier, observed Hague, who is well known also as a friend of former British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher.

    Concerning ECHR's reform, surprisingly, it was an .. enthousiast French Permanent Representative to the CoE, Ambassador Laurent Dominati, who observed earlier to "EuroFora, that "the (incoming) Brittish Presidency of the CoE would have interesting things for you among its priorities, particularly concerning the ECHR", where, UK's main aim would probably be to focus on serious Human Rights violations, as he told us smiling, on the sidelines of Diplomatic meetings at the Presidential Palace "Elysee" in Paris, leaving the impression of a possible Franco-British "entente cordiale" on this and other topical CoE issues...



Repeatedly questioned on this matter by more than... 5 Journalists, one after the other, Hague stressed, among others, that, he hopes to obtain an "Agreement" on ECHR changes, until May 2012, (i.e. shortly after a scheduled "Ministerial meeting on ECHR's Reform" on April 2012), even if "it's part of a Long Process" of overall reform, as he admitted, apparently referring to the landmark Interlaken 2/2010 Resolution which established a Plan for work up to 2019, (See "EuroFora"s NewsReports from the spot).

    Hague stressed, among others,  that "it's important for ECHR to focus on the maink, most important issues of serious, appaling Human Rights violations", "many of whom come from certain States", and face the overload of applications, so that it will become able to "become anew in Futrure as powerful and efficient as it had been in the Past".


(NDLR : "EuroFora" intends to return back to this issue soon, with a complete analysis).
    - But,  "We also place Importance in other issues, and I think that (Internet) is important too, not to lose sight of Human Rights issues which are gaining importance throughout the modern World", such as "the Free and Responsible use of the Internet", Hague added.


    - In this regard, f.ex. "I hosted in London, last week, an International Conference on  CyberSpace, whis is also part of our Security policy, f.ex. by reducing Cyber Attacks and Internet Criminal Networks", (as he said, at  the eve of a forthcoming, new CoE International Conference on CyberCrime, scheduled in Strasbourg on November 21).

    - "But we place all that Strongly in the context of Freedom, and the immense Benefit of Economic and Political and Social imortance of Freedom of Expression : The greater Freedom of Expression and Information that the Internat has brought about", Hague stressed.

    - "There are many Governments around the World who now use the Power of CyberSpace to try to Suppress Opposition, and also Block Freedom of Expression", the incoming CoE's Chairman in office denounced.

    - "So, this is becoming an increasingly important issue, and it's right to bring attention there", concluded the key Minister from the new British Government which was elected on 2010 on the basis of an Electoral Program which included also a cystal-clear promise to "Restore Freedoms" to British People, (something which has become a target of various "Socialist" a.o. provocations, recently, in an obvious attempt to  try to make the new government deviate from its officially anounced principles).
-  "Internet Governance, including Freedom of Expression on the Internet", is, indeed, officially included among the "Priorities and Objectives" of the "UK Chairmanship of the CoE", also accordin to an Official Programme, which stresses that "the UK strongly supports an Open internet, not only in terms of access and content but also Freedom of expression"

    Moreover, UK's CoE Chairmanship "will work towards the adoption of the CoE Internet Governance strategy by (CoE's) Committee of Ministers", according also to the Conclusions of the latest, May 2011,  "G-8" Summit of Heads of State/Government at Deauville symbolically located between France and the UK at the Manche, and chaired by French President Sarkozy (See "EuroFora"s relevant NewsReports from Strasbourg, Paris and from the "G20" at Deauville)

    "We will also give impetus to the Principles that the Council of Europe has developed to uphold Freedom of expression on the internet and provide support to other Initiatives, to ensure that all member States live up to their international Obligations in this area", the Official UK's CoE chairmanship Program adds.


    + Hague, (perhaps observing the astonishing behavior of an inexperienced CoE's agent who curiously interposed himself in systematically hintering any questions from certain long-time EU/CoE/UNO+ Journalists, despite the available time and British Foreign Minister's obvious willingness to reply), added, at his own initiative, also "another UK's priority (which) is the Fight against Discrimination", as he said.


All this, (i.e. added to the "Freedom at the Internet" issue : See Supra), apparently fits well also the fact that, right in front of CoE's Press Room (the "No 4"), is located the Statute of World famous former British Prime Minister Winston Churchil, whose idea was the creation of CoE itself, and who was already actively engaged in a previous, Historic Liberal- Conservative Coalition Government : that of young Winston Churchil and David Lloyd George, between 1916 and 1922, a Victorious Government over 1st World War, and to which many Arabs, Greeks, Armenians, etc. owe much for active Help for their Liberation  from Military Invasion and Occupation by the former Ottoman-Turc empire, notoriously stoped from dissolution and transformation into several Modern, Democratic National States, at the last minute by a cynical, real-politics manouver by Stalin at the Caucasus, obviously made in order to provoke headaches for many years to the detriment of Western Europe.. This also was probably one of the last Governments in Europe to be really Autonomous, including vis a vis overseas..  

++ UK's official Program also adds that "the UK Chairmanship will work towards a more effective and efficient role for the CoE in supporting Local and Regional Democracy". CLRAE's (Congres of Local and Regional Democracy's) current President is, indeed, the experienced Liberal representative Keith Whitmore, (See various Whitmore's Statements to "EuroFora", including during the most recent CLRAE Session in Strasbourg, on October 2011).


(NDLR : "DraftNews", as already sent earlier to "EuroFora"s Subscribers/Donors. A more accurate, complete, Final version is due asap).

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An appeal to make the "World more Human", by defending basic Human Values, helping those in need, and paying hommage to Nature, figured high in Pope Benedict's long-awaited speech at his "First Angelus" in the symbolic, beautiful historic small town of Brixen/Bressalone at the Alpes.


- "No Dictature, nor any destructive force can rob us of the most important goods wich are God's gift", stressed Pope Benedict, referring to elementary Human Values, in a last-minute improvisation of his draft speech, before launching also a call to "help those in need", in order to "make the World more human".

- "Jesus is the focus .. In him is Justice and Freedom", said earlier Brixen's Bishop Wilhelm Egger, after prayers including calls to "Truth, Justice and Freedom", read at a Mass of thousands in the town of Archangel Michael, known as defender of christians against the devil.


In what looks as a reference to BioEthics' dillemas of crucial impportance, raised at Strasbourg's unique in the World legally binding International Treaty on BioMedicine and Human Rights (1998, with the "hottest" issues added later through additional protocols, some of whom are imminent), he spoke also of the splendid "Nature" at this Alpen's ressort : This fits well Vatican's earlier anouncement that Pope Benedict's "prayer intentions for August" are mainly to "respect God's design for the world", and "become ever more aware of the great gift of God which Creation represents for us".

- "The most important things in our lives cannot be bought, but are only given as holy gifts : The Sun and its Light, the Air that we breath, the Water, the beauty of Earth, Love, Friendship, Life itself", Pope Benedict added, extending also to Natural Environment, another topical issue after recent Climatic upheavals at several parts of the World.



The "preparation of Pope Benedict's visit to France", which currently heads the EU, at mid-September, among exceptionaly important Council of Europe meetings on Human Rights in Paris and Strasbourg, is part of his work, together with his "book on Jesus", during brief Summer Holidays in Brixen, said his Spokesman, Federico Lombardi.

- The Pope's message is mainly religious, theological. But we are living in a concrete world, and ideas may be taken by readers as references to the actuality. However, it's better to wait to se what the Pope will say in Paris and at Lourdes, added to EuroFora Lombardi, who is also Director of Vatican's Press Office.


Brizen/Bressanone is similar to Strasbourg by succeeding to make a fertile synthesis of Germanic and Latin sources of Europe, like the two local rivers who meet at the historical center of the town, among spectacular ressorts at mountains' hights.

Headquarters for an Historic Religious Seminar, it attracted recently also a Free University's Educational studies. Well-known as a long-time preferred rest place for former cardinal Radzinger and his brother Georg, it includes areas named "St Benedeto" and "St George"...


But Pope Benedict's first speech gave also another symbolic rendez-vous :

- "Next Wednesday, August 6, we shall commemorate the 30st anniversary from the death of late Pope Paul VI", who "concluded Vatican II", and "the Transfiguration of Jesus, mystery of the divine light, which exerced a unique fascination to his soul", he said to some 12.000 applauding People, among the happy few who succeeded to have a rare place for an open-air Mass inside the Domplatz a particularly sunny day at the Alpes.



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