Visit by Thorbjørn Jagland, Secretary-General of the Council of Europe

Bern, Press release, 28.10.2009

The new Secretary-General of the Council of Europe, Thorbjørn Jagland, arrived in Switzerland today, Wednesday 28.10.09, for his first official visit. His talks with Federal Councillor Micheline Calmy-Rey focused on Switzerland’s imminent accession to the chair of the Committee of Ministers, the Council’s decision-making body. Other important topics of discussion included ways and means for cooperation, Switzerland’s priorities as chair, reform of the Council and current political issues.

Switzerland is due to take the chair of the Committee of Ministers on 18 November for a period of six months. Its priorities will include ensuring consistent respect for human rights, democracy and the rule of law, and greater transparency and efficiency in the Council of Europe. 

Switzerland will focus much of its attention on the future of the European Court of Human Rights as the guarantor of human rights and fundamental freedoms in Europe. For this purpose Switzerland will invite representatives of the member states, as well as international organisations, to a high-ranking conference to be held in Interlaken (18-19 February 2010). 

Founded on 5 May 1949, the Council of Europe today numbers 47 member states. Its main objectives are the protection and promotion of human rights, democracy and the rule of law in Europe. In this context the Strasbourg-based Council bases its decisions primarily on the European Convention on Human Rights, which guarantees the fundamental rights and freedoms of all citizens on the continent.

Further information:

special webpage Council of Europe

Address for enquiries:

Information FDFA
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Federal Department of Foreign Affairs