Thursday, 21 October 2010

Jagland Highlights CoE's Contribution To Europe's "Deep Security"

Effective democratic governance is not only intrinsically linked to the respect of human rights but is also key to to ensuring stability, sustainability and well-being.

This message was writ large in Thorbjorn Jagland speech to the 2010 Forum for the Future of Democracy, which ended in Yerevan, Armenia on 21 October.

"The Council of Europe has a unique strategic role to play in strengthening good democratic governance at all levels in the European space,"  said the Secretary General. "This is what I call deep security.

"Deep security implies the need to change our mindset, to make it adaptive to change and to cultivate the culture of being open to change and diversity."

Discussions on political culture drew attention to a number of worrying cases in Europe in which distortions of the democratic processes have tended to serve the individual purposes of those in power. It was recognised that these situations strike at the very heart of the Council of Europe’s mission, namely living together as equals in dignity and being guaranteed freedom of expression across the European continent.

The Council of Europe has the knowledge, tools and programmes buttressing democracy throughout the continent and contributing to bring democratic principles to life, for example, through formal and non-formal citizenship and human rights education.

The Secretary General stressed the importance of new information and communication technologies in strengthening democratic governance.

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