STRASBOURG (Armenpress)–During a press conference held this morning in Strasbourg–the Secretary General of the Council of Europe Walter Schwimmer stressed that the 3rd Summit of Heads of State or Government of the Council of Europe–to be held between autumn 2004 and spring 2005–would deal with the role of the Organization in the institutional landscape substantially altered after the adoption of a Constitution for the enlarged European Union–as well as with the role of the enlarged Union in the Council of Europe. "The international community increasingly recognizes the role of our Organization as a pan-European political forum," added Mr. Schwimmer.
He described the draft Constitution–adopted in Thessaloniki–for the future of an enlarged Europe as "a major advance in the development of the European political landscape," which would give the Union legal ground for its accession to the European Convention on Human Rights–and for the application of coherent human rights safeguards throughout the continent.
The Secretary General announced that the political leaders of the two parts of Cyprus would meet in Strasbourg on 7 July at his invitation–in order to make progress towards a political settlement. Schwimmer welcomed the entry into force of Protocol No. 13 to the European Convention on Human Rights prohibiting the death penalty in all circumstances–expected on 1 July. This would enable Europe to become a zone completely free from capital punishment–the Secretary General said in conclusion.