Ukraine is now led by the Committee of Ministers of the Council of Europe

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In Turkey today, the Istanbul 121st ministerial meeting of the Committee of Ministers of the Council of Europe will hold a ceremony handover of the chairmanship of the Committee of Ministers of the Council of Europe. Ukrainian delegation at the event chaired by the Minister of Foreign Affairs Konstantin Grishchenko.

Belarus is not a member of the Council of Europe. A few years ago, Belarus applied for the restoration of special guest status with the Parliamentary Assembly of the international structure. However, at the January 2011 session of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe adopted a decision to freeze contacts with the official Minsk as a result of the December 19 events in Belarus. And Assembly decided to continue not to restore Special Guest status for Belarus Parliament, which was frozen after the 1996 referendum. The only person which has right to communicate with Belarus on behalf of PACE — spetsdakladchytsa Sinikka Hurskainen.

How falls learned during his presidency, Ukraine will ensure consistency in achieving the objectives and priorities of the Organization — the strengthening of democracy, the rule of law and protection of human rights. Ukrainian presidency plans to implement a series of practical steps for the continuation of the main priorities of the Council of Europe, and will focus its activities on strengthening the political role of the Council of Europe in the systems of the European institutions, the Organization's ability to respond effectively to the challenges of our times and to fulfill its mission to preserve and protect the democratic pan-European values.

Under the presidency of Ukraine intends to focus the work on such priorities as the protection of children's rights, human rights and the rule of law in the context of democracy and stability in Europe, strengthening and development of local democracy.

Ukraine's chairmanship of the Committee of Ministers of the Council of Europe, which will last until November 2011and will be the first in nearly 16 years of history of Ukraine's membership in the Organization, says the country's Foreign Ministry.

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