3 April 202022:20

Comment by the Information and Press Department on the CoE leaders’ participation in the Coronavirus Laws global online forum


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On April 2, the Council of Europe (CoE) said on its website that Secretary General Marija Pejcinovic Buric and Deputy Chairman of Russia’s Security Council Dmitry Medvedev will speak at a plenary session of the global online forum, The Coronavirus Laws, held as part of the St Petersburg International Legal Forum. CoE’s Human Rights and Rule of Law Directorate will co-chair the discussion during the Human Rights under the Quarantine panel.

As you may be aware, in connection with the ever spreading coronavirus infection, the 10th St Petersburg International Legal Forum will be held on May 18-22, 2021 instead of May 2020.

At the same time, it was decided to use its interactive platform and hold a special 9½: International Coronavirus Laws forum dedicated to the legal aspects of social life during the pandemic on April 10-12. This event will be used to discuss, in particular, human rights, public administration, lawmaking, the judicial system, the information space, sanitary restrictions and business as well as other aspects of the economy, the society and the state during the pandemic. Heads of public authorities, international organisations, courts and law and notary public associations, as well as corporate heads, lawyers and researchers from a variety of countries are all welcome to attend.

In this regard, we welcome the CoE Secretary General Marija Pejcinovic Buric agreeing to speak at the opening of the global online forum, as well as the willingness of CoE’s Director General of Human Rights and Rule of Law Christos Giakoumopoulos to co-chair the panel, “Human Rights under the Quarantine.” We also expect representatives of the European Court of Human Rights to attend the forum.

Of course, the effective response to the coronavirus pandemic’s fallout tops the global agenda. It is gratifying to know that Russia’s proposal to hold an online discussion on the legal aspects of this matter was widely approved by leading experts from all around the world.

We believe that the Council of Europe should more than ever before use its vast potential as a multifaceted pan-European organisation to promote international cooperation on providing rapid response to a variety of the pandemic challenges ranging from protecting human rights, primarily, those of the vulnerable groups of the population to sharing best practices in healthcare, education and relief work. We are convinced that amid the current challenging circumstances, the CoE should stop being a place for settling political scores and it should become a platform for uniting the efforts of the European countries as they combat common problems. We believe this is the key to successfully achieving the organisation’s main statutory goal which is to promote unity of its member countries.

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