Russia

Effectiveness of CoE experts and work of the Consultative Council in Chechnya

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Posted
Originally published
Effectiveness of Council of Europe experts in the Chechen Republic and Work of the Consultative Council in Chechnya
Written Questions No. 419 and No. 420
Doc. 9677
25 January 2003

Reply from the Committee of Ministers
adopted at the 825th meeting of the Ministers' Deputies (22 January 2003)

I. Written Questions No. 419 and No. 420 by Lord Judd (Docs. 9583 and 9584)

What action has been taken to resolve the issues surrounding the location, freedom of travel, access to Grozny and general effectiveness of the Council of Europe experts in the Chechen Republic and what was its outcome.

Why it has not yet mobilised funds to support the work of the Consultative Council on Chechnya established under the aegis of the Joint Working Group (PACE and Duma) and how soon does it intend to ensure that such funds are available.

II. Reply by the Committee of Ministers

"1. The Committee of Ministers, where Written Question No. 419 by Lord Judd is concerned ("What action has been taken to resolve the issues surrounding the location, freedom of travel, access to Grozny and general effectiveness of the Council of Europe experts in the Chechen Republic and what was its outcome"), on the basis in particular of proposals made by the Secretary General discussed in the context of his monthly interim reports, recently invited (822nd meeting of the Deputies) the Secretary General to take the following action relevant to the issues raised in this Written Question:

(i) to contact the Minister for Foreign Affairs of the Russian Federation with a view to prolonging the validity of the Agreement (concluded by exchange of letters dated 6 and 24 June 2002 respectively) on the extension of the mandate of the Council of Europe staff providing consultative expertise to the Office of the Special Representative of the President of the Russian Federation for ensuring human and civil rights and freedoms in the Chechen Republic beyond 4 January 2003;

(ii) to ensure, in close coordination with the authorities of the Russian Federation, the continuation of complete and comprehensive implementation of the agreement allowing the Council of Europe staff to carry out their tasks as well as to provide consultative expertise;

(iii) to pursue his efforts to accelerate the implementation of activities concerning additional tasks of the Council of Europe staff providing consultative expertise to the Office of the Special Representative of the President of the Russian Federation.

2. In pursuance of the invitation under (i) above, and in the light of the Deputies' discussion, the Secretary General proposed (see document SG/Com(2003)823 - communication of the Deputy Secretary General to the 823rd meeting of the Deputies (9 January 2003)) in a letter dated 18 December 2002 that the Agreement be prolonged for a full year, so as to obtain the best possible results and to allow appropriate budgetary and staff planning. In his reply, dated 27 December 2002, the Minister for Foreign Affairs of the Russian Federation agreed to a prolongation until 4 July 2003. Dialogue on the implementation of (ii) and (iii) will continue in the context of the monthly item on the agenda of the Ministers' Deputies.

3. Where Written Question No. 420 is concerned ("Why it has not yet mobilized funds to support the work of the Consultative Council on Chechnya established under the aegis of the Joint Working Group (Parliamentary Assembly and Duma) and how soon does it intend to ensure that such funds are available"), the Parliamentary Assembly has, like the Committee of Ministers, been kept informed by the Secretary General of contacts with the European Commission, and notably with External Relations Commissioner Chris Patten, with a view to securing joint funding by the European bodies most concerned.

4. The Committee of Ministers welcomes continued parliamentary pressure in favour of mobilizing funds to support the work of the Consultative Council, particularly with the approach of the Constitutional Referendum in the Chechen Republic of the Russian Federation planned for Spring of this year. In this context the Committee of Ministers looks forward to resumption of the work of the Parliamentary Assembly which it sees as an important element in securing a positive outcome to the concern expressed in the Written question put by the Honorable member, to whose tireless efforts, as Rapporteur of the Assembly on this question, the Committee also wishes to pay tribute."