European leaders gather in Iceland to discuss human rights and support for Ukraine.


The Council of Europe, the primary establishment governing human rights on the continent, begins a summit in Iceland on Tuesday, with discussions among the many heads of state to incorporate what steps they will take to assist Ukraine in its protection towards Russian aggression.

The toll of the struggle in Ukraine, and the way the remainder of Europe can finest assist, is predicted to be a serious focus of the gathering — solely the fourth because the council was established in 1949, after World Warfare II. Leaders from most of the council’s 46 member nations are anticipated in individual, however President Volodymyr Zelensky of Ukraine, who has been on a whirlwind tour of Europe in latest days, attended just about.

“Ukraine should take middle stage” on the summit, the council’s secretary basic, Marija Pejcinovic Buric, mentioned in a press release. She added that “accountability for the loss of life and destruction brought on by Russian aggression is significant,” suggesting that the group might take a number one position in establishing a file to doc proof and claims of injury, loss or damage in Ukraine on account of Russia’s invasion.

Russia grew to become a member of the council in 1996, within the years following the dissolution of the Soviet Union, however was suspended from it final 12 months after attacking Ukraine. The invasion “goes towards every thing we stand for and is a violation of our statute and of the European Conference on Human Rights,’’ Ms. Buric told The Times in March 2022.

Prime Minister Rishi Sunak of Britain, who’s scheduled to attend the two-day occasion, will “use these gatherings to push for sustained worldwide assist for Ukraine, each when it comes to navy support and long-term safety assurances,” his workplace mentioned in a press release.

The council, which is distinct from the European Union, was shaped to uphold democracy, human rights and the rule of legislation on the continent. It has a parliamentary meeting and governs the European Court docket of Human Rights, which decides circumstances introduced from any member nation. Its previous summits were in 1993, 1997 and 2005.

The agenda is predicted to the touch on a variety of hot-button points in addition to Ukraine, together with local weather change and synthetic intelligence. The prime minister of Iceland, Katrin Jakobsdottir, mentioned in a press release that she would “use this platform to champion the rights of girls and women, the surroundings, and kids and youth.”

The assembly comes days forward of the Group of seven summit in Hiroshima, Japan, which begins on Friday.

Ursula von der Leyen, the president of the European Fee, mentioned in a press release {that a} unified response to the invasion of Ukraine can be an underlying theme of the summits, and that she would “very strongly assist the creation of a devoted tribunal to carry Russia’s crime of aggression to trial.”

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