RIGA - On May 17, Latvia is taking over the Presidency of the Committee of Ministers of the Council of Europe from Iceland, LETA learned from the Latvian Foreign Ministry.
The Minister of Foreign Affairs of Iceland, Thordis Kolbrun Reykfjord Gylfadottir, will transfer the Presidency powers in rotational order to the Minister of Foreign Affairs of Latvia, Edgars Rinkevics (New Unity), for a six-month term. The handover ceremony will take place during the 4th Summit of Heads of State and Government of the Council of Europe in Reykjavík, Iceland.
This is Latvia’s second Presidency since joining the organization. During the period, the Latvian Foreign Minister will be Chair of the Committee of Ministers of the Council of Europe, and his duties will include reporting to the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE) on the work of the Committee of Ministers.
One of the main tasks of the Latvian Presidency is to work on the practical implementation of the decisions of the Council of Europe’s summit in Reykjavik – strengthening the role and influence of the Council of Europe, addressing the current challenges in the field of human rights, providing the organization’s support to Ukraine, including to achieve Russia’s international accountability for the crime of aggression in Ukraine.
The national priorities of the Latvian Presidency at the Council of Ministers of the Council of Europe are as follows: 1) strengthening of democracy and the rule of law; 2) promotion of freedom of expression, safety of journalists and digital agenda of the Council of Europe; 3) advancing reforms of the Council of Europe.
The Council of Europe, created in 1949, is the oldest political organization in Europe and includes 46 European countries. The organization aims at building a common democratic and law-based space and adherence to, and safeguarding its fundamental values – human rights, democracy and the rule of law. Latvia joined the organization in 1995.