The Foreign Minister Mr. Markos Kyprianou participated in the 4th United Nations Conference on the Least Developed Countries and the proceedings of the 121st Meeting of the Committee of Ministers of the Council of Europe which are taking place concurrently between 9-13 of May in Istanbul.
The 4th United Nations Conference on the Least Developed Countries (LDCs) dealt with the challenges faced by these countries in terms of poverty and poor nutrition as well as socioeconomic and environmental insecurity. A ten-year Action Plan was adopted, to tackle collectively these problems through specific actions in the areas of trade, investments, the economy, development aid and technology.
The 121st Session of the Committee of Ministers of the Council of Europe dealt with the reform of the CoE and the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR), as well as the promotion and implementation of a Neigbourhood Policy by the CoE, the further cooperation between the CoE and the European Union and its accession to the European Convention on Human Rights.
In his intervention the Foreign Minister stressed, inter alia, the importance Cyprus attaches to the Council of Europe and the efforts made to reform the Organization, including the ECHR. Mr. Kyprianou underlined that the CoE continues to aim to a Europe without forced divisions and lines of separation.
He welcomed the measures adopted to ensure ECHR’s effectiveness and referred to the recently held High Level Conference in Turkey. The Minister placed particular emphasis on the right of filing an individual action, noting that future admissibility criteria should be respected in a way that safeguards this right. He also highlighted the importance of speedy and full implementation of ECHR Rulings, which is essential to ensuring the credibility of the human rights protection system.
Referring to the current developments in the region of the southeastern Mediterranean, the Foreign Minister noted the significance Cyprus attaches to a flexible, successful Neighbourhood Policy of the CoE, with clear political goals. He also referred to the cooperation between the CoE and the EU, stressing that the two Organizations complement each other, and at the same time recognizing that there is room for more effective cooperation in certain areas. The Foreign Minister noted that Cyprus remains committed to the EU’s accession to the European Convention on Human Rights. Finally, Mr. Kyprianou welcomed the efforts made by the CoE’s Secretary General to reform and upgrade the Organization in the European architecture.
In the framework of the Meeting of the Committee of Ministers of the Council of Europe, Mr. Kyprianou participated in an informal working dinner hosted by the Foreign Minister of Turkey Mr. A. Davutoglu on May 10, where the Ministers discussed the report “Living together: Combining diversity and freedom in 21st century Europe” prepared by the Council of Europe Group of Eminent Persons.
On the sidelines of the two Conferences, Mr. Kyprianou had bilateral meetings with his counterparts from Serbia, Croatia, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Moldavia, Montenegro and Estonia, the Minister of State for European Affairs of the United Kingdom, as well as the Deputy Foreign Minister of Venezuela. He also met with the Europarliamentarian, Ms. Eleni Theocharous who participated in the proceedings of the Conference on the LDCs.