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Minister Fajon: “The values and norms of the Council of Europe are more relevant than ever”

In Strasbourg, Minister Tanja Fajon attended the 133rd Session of the Committee of Ministers of the Council of Europe, which focused on Ukraine, reviewed progress in implementing the decisions of the Fourth Summit of Heads of State and Government and adopted the first international instrument on artificial intelligence and human rights. She also represented Slovenia at the Commemorative Ceremony of the 75th anniversary of the Council of Europe.

Minister Fajon stressed that the 75th anniversary of the Council of Europe was an important opportunity for everyone to recall the importance of the values and norms of this international organisation, which are more relevant today than ever before. “We must stand together to defend our European values. Unfortunately, some parts of Europe are also witnessing a regression of democracy, the rule of law and human rights,” she recalled on International Day against Homophobia, Transphobia and Biphobia. “For more than two years, Europe has been witnessing a war of aggression against Ukraine, which is tirelessly defending itself against Russian attacks. Slovenia stands in solidarity with the Ukrainian people and welcomes the establishment of the Register of Damages as an important first step towards a comprehensive international compensation mechanism that will ensure the accountability for the aggression against Ukraine and its people," said Minister Fajon, adding that Slovenia remains firmly committed to the European Convention on Human Rights.

The ministers adopted the Framework Convention on artificial intelligence, human rights, democracy and the rule of law: "This first international instrument on artificial intelligence and human rights is an important achievement, as it will ensure that the Council of Europe’s legal standards on human rights are upheld in this new area," said Minister Fajon, adding that the same should be done for the right to a clean, healthy and sustainable environment: "We need to work on a new legal instrument on human rights and the environment. We owe it to the people, especially young people, and to our planet".

The meeting adopted a declaration and a series of decisions that follow up on the commitments made in the Reykjavik Declaration at the Summit of Heads of State and Government in May 2023. The decisions relate to the Council of Europe's priority areas for action and focus on the current and future challenges facing the Council of Europe, such as the impact of digitalisation on human rights, migration, the protection of journalists, etc.

Minister Fajon represented Slovenia at the ceremony marking the 75th anniversary of the Council of Europe. She also met with the new Council of Europe Commissioner for Human Rights, Michael O'Flaherty, and the new Foreign Minister of the Principality of Andorra, Imma Tor Faus. They focused on strengthening cooperation and the importance of respecting human rights.