The new chairman of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE) was the Italian politician Michele Nicoletti. He was appointed to this post on Monday at the opening of the PACE January session in Strasbourg.
On entering the presidium and taking the floor for the first time as chairman of the assembly, Nicoletti stressed that all PACE delegations should focus their efforts on uniting and upholding the Council of Europe’s fundamental values - the protection of human rights and the rule of law. “In the time of great and dramatic changes – from terrorism to migration, from poverty to mistrust to representative bodies, from the new rise of racism and xenophobia to the desperate loneliness of a multitude of people – we must offer a response to nationalistic and chauvinistic temptations,” he said.
As the new head of the PACE stressed, the participants of the assembly should “rally the ranks, oppose centrifugal tendencies, faithfully work for the benefit” of this international political body. “In carrying out this task, we must continuously condemn any cases of human rights violations committed in any part of our continent by any authorities,” Nicoletti pointed out. “At the same time, this protection of human rights will be even stronger if we manage to combine it with the strengthening of the unity between our peoples.”
The candidacy of Nicoletti was the only one, none of the deputies to the post of Assembly Speaker this time ran for election.
The term of office of the head of the PACE is one year with the possibility of a one-time extension for a year.