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President of the Republic of Slovenia Pirc Musar, PhD, at the 4th Council of Europe Summit in Reykjavik

The President of the Republic of Slovenia Nataša Pirc Musar, PhD, attended the 4th Summit of Heads of State and Government of the Council of Europe under the Icelandic Presidency of the Committee of Ministers in Reykjavik from 16 to 17 May 2023. Discussions focused on accountability for Russia's aggression against Ukraine and the promotion and protection of the Council of Europe's core values.

The Reykjavik Summit, the fourth in the 74-year history of the Council of Europe and the first in 18 years, was a historic opportunity to reaffirm our common commitment to the Council of Europe's core values and to focus on new threats to human rights and democracy. In addition, Member States demonstrated their continued support for Ukraine, including the establishment of the Register of Damage caused by the Russian aggression against Ukraine. Member States discussed new challenges to democracy and human rights, including challenges related to the environment and artificial intelligence.

The President of the Republic of Slovenia Nataša Pirc Musar, PhD, in a general debate entitled "United for Europe", stressed the importance of unity in upholding the values of the Council of Europe – human rights, democracy and the rule of law. She strongly condemned the Russian aggression against Ukraine and expressed her solidarity with the people of Ukraine, to whom Slovenia will continue to provide the necessary support. She welcomed the efforts to hold all those responsible for the crimes in Ukraine accountable, referring to the establishment of a Register of Damage as an important step. She highlighted the current trend of backsliding in the areas of democracy, the rule of law, human rights and minority rights as a major concern, and underlined the fundamental obligation of Member States to comply with the judgments of the European Court of Human Rights. She also underlined the role of the Council of Europe as a standard-setter for future human rights challenges, including the regulation of the use of artificial intelligence and the promotion of the right to a healthy, clean and sustainable environment.

At the end of the Summit, Latvia took over the chairmanship of the Committee of Ministers from Iceland. The Latvian Minister of Foreign Affairs, Edgars Rinkēvičs, outlined Latvia's main priorities for the period May-November 2023. One of the main priorities will be to work towards the implementation of the outcomes of the Reykjavik Summit, including strengthening the role and influence of the Council of Europe, addressing the current challenges in the field of human rights and providing further support to Ukraine.

The President also held a number of bilateral meetings during the Summit.