Slovakia's success during its half-year chairmanship of the Council of Europe Committee of Ministers (ending May 7), could be helpful in the country's bid to be elected to the UN Human Rights Council on May 21, Foreign Minister Ján Kubiš said on May 5 at a press conference in Bratislava.
Kubiš, who presides over the CE Committee of Ministers, said that during the term Slovakia contributed to the discussion on priority issues concerning human rights, the TASR newswire wrote.
"We showed to what extent a country like Slovakia can contribute to solving CE issues in a short time period," said Kubis, adding that with the exception of facilitating closer cooperation between Belarus and the CE, Slovakia has met its objectives. Slovakia is an example that an individual country can bring impetus to such a bureaucratic machine as the CE, chiefly thanks to having a "strong" secretariat, he said.
Listing the items of business Slovakia was engaged in during its chairmanship, Kubiš mentioned strengthening civil society in Europe and cooperation between the CE and the European Union. Slovakia's successor will be Sweden, whose foreign minister is Carl Bildt. The handover will take place Wednesday in Strasbourg.
The Council of Europe, founded on May 5, 1949, is the oldest international political organisation in Europe. Its mission is to promote democracy and human rights. TASR
b>Compiled by Zuzana Vilikovská from press reports
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6. May 2008 at 12:00