On 18-19 May, Foreign Minister Edgars Rinkēvičs will take part in the 127th session of the Committee of Ministers of the Council of Europe (CoE) to be held in Nicosia, the capital city of Cyprus, the country currently holding the CoE Chairmanship. The CoE meetings at the ministerial level take place once a year, when representatives from the member states are invited to take stock of the work accomplished and to set future priorities.
This year’s session will focus on challenges related to human rights, the rule of law and democracy in Europe, including as set out in a report prepared by the CoE Secretary General Thorbjørn Jagland. A new legal instrument – the Council of Europe Convention on Offences Relating to Cultural Property – will also be opened for signature.
At the conclusion of the session, the Chairmanship of the Committee of Ministers will be taken over by the Czech Republic for the next six-month term.
The session brings together foreign ministers and other representatives from the Council of Europe’s 47 member states and five observer states – Japan, the United States of America, Canada, Mexico, and the Holy See – as well as the OECD and the European Union.
The Strasbourg-based Council of Europe was established in 1949 and is the oldest political organisation in Europe with 47 member states. The goal of the Council of Europe is to build a common area of democracy and justice by ensuring that its fundamental values – human rights, democracy and the rule of law – are observed and protected. Latvia joined the Council of Europe on 10 February 1995 and will hold its next presidency of the CoE Committee of Ministers in 2023.