1031st meeting – 2 July 2008

Item 2.1a

Current political questions

a. Activities for the development and consolidation of democratic stability
- Bosnia and Herzegovina
- Belarus
- Forum for the Future of Democracy
(GR-DEM(2008)CB7, SG/Inf(2008)11, DPA/Inf(2008)15, FFD/AB(2008)7)

Decisions

The Deputies

1. took note of the synopsis of the GR-DEM meeting held on 20 June 2008 (document
GR-DEM(2008)CB7);

Concerning Bosnia and Herzegovina

In the light of the overview of recent developments concerning compliance by Bosnia and Herzegovina with its obligations and commitments and the implementation of the post-accession co-operation programme (document SG/Inf(2008)11),

2. noted the progress in fulfilling the formal commitments to the Council of Europe, and in particular the ratification of the European Framework Convention on Transfrontier Co-operation (and its Amending Protocols) and the parliament's vote on the ratification of the European Social Charter (Revised), and invited the authorities of Bosnia and Herzegovina to make further progress towards the fulfilment of the remaining commitments;

3. urged the authorities of Bosnia and Herzegovina at all levels to take measures in order to develop an integrated educational system and put an end without delay to segregation in education, which seriously hinders the country's cohesiveness;

4. expressed their concern regarding the attacks against media freedom and the independence of the Communication Regulatory Agency and asked the authorities to take measures which would preserve a healthy media environment in the country;

5. urged the authorities of Bosnia and Herzegovina to implement the recommendations detailed in the Chapter VIII of the 14th monitoring report (document SG/Inf(2008)11), namely to:

    ·restart, as soon as possible, the constitutional reform, revising, in particular, the provisions contrary to the European Convention on Human Rights;
    ·continue co-operation with the International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia (ICTY), resulting, in particular, in handing over of the most wanted indictees to the Tribunal;
    ·complete the transition of the Ombudsman offices and ensure that the state-level office has the necessary resources to function properly;
    ·complete, as soon as possible, the reform of the public broadcasting system;

Concerning Belarus

6. took note of the state of implementation of the co-operation activities for Belarus (document DPA/Inf(2008)15), authorised the Secretariat to continue these activities and instructed their Rapporteur Group on Democracy (GR-DEM) to follow their implementation, taking into account the appeal of the Chairperson of the Committee of Ministers to the authorities of Belarus, as contained in his address to the Parliamentary Assembly on 23 June 2008;

Concerning the Forum for the Future of Democracy

7. agreed to add the following paragraphs between paragraphs 9 and 10 of the Guidelines of the Forum:

“Member states may, at any time, inform the Advisory Board of the Forum for the Future of Democracy of their interest in hosting a session of the Forum.

Proposing countries shall submit a formal proposal for the venue, date and prospective theme to the Chairman of the Advisory Board no later than the end of the last year but one (N – 2) before the year in which the proposed session is to be held.

The Advisory Board shall submit the proposal(s) received and its recommendation to the Committee of Ministers so as to enable the latter to take all necessary administrative and budgetary decisions in good time.”


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