19:00 27/01/2020 World

Rik Daems elected PACE President

Belgian MP Rik Daems from ALDE group has been elected President of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE), press service at the Council of Europe said in a statement.

Succeeding Liliane Maury Pasquier (Switzerland, SOC), Mr. Daems becomes PACE’s 33rd President and the third Belgian representative since 1949 after the Assembly’s founding father, Paul-Henri Spaak (1949-1951), and Fernand Dehousse (1956-9). Only one candidate was in the running, the source said.

In his opening speech the newly-elected President urged the Assembly to focus on values rather than national interests. “Interests divide, but values unite," he said. “We are sent by our national parliaments, but I doubt we are sent here only to support our national interests. We all signed the European Convention on Human Rights and we are here to defend human rights, the rule of law and democracy,” he underlined. “We may be a Council of Europe, but we are also a Council of Europeans. Being equal doesn’t mean we are all the same, but to cherish and uphold the same values. This is what ‘unity in diversity’ means, this is what the Council of Europe is all about.”



Source Panorama.am
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