Oslo - The problem of Ukraine is an extremely important and tough problem for Europe and shows that threats posed by violations of international law have not disappeared, Croatian Parliament Speaker Josip Leko said in Oslo on Friday following a two-day conference of parliament speakers from the Council of Europe member states. ''International law is the product of consensus, agreement and dialogue among states. If we do not abide by international law, we all face problems, we are all in danger,'' Leko said.
In addition to Ukraine, which was one of the main topics discussed at the conference, Leko also mentioned problems relating to the Mediterranean and north Africa, as well as "frozen conflicts" in Cyprus, Transnistria, South Ossetia, Abkhazia and Nagorno-Karabakh. "The conclusion is that without democratic relations, dialogue and standards and without democratic institutions in European countries it will not be possible to deal with conflicts and disputes peacefully," Leko said.
The President of the Council of Europe Parliamentary Assembly, Anne Brasseur, said in her closing speech that efforts should be made to prevent or at least limit the suffering of people caused by those conflicts. She said that Europe needed strong parliaments to promote common values, such as democracy, respect for human rights and the rule of law, and should focus on what connects us rather than what separates us.
Norwegian Parliament Speaker Olemic Thommessen said in his closing address that he and Brasseur strongly supported the initiative to establish a European Day for the Victims of Hate Crime. He mentioned online social networks that enabled better connections between members of parliament and citizens, but noted that such networks could also serve as a platform for hate speech.
On the margins of the conference, Leko met with the Deputy Speaker of the House of Representatives of the Bosnia and Herzegovina Parliamentary Assembly, Bozo Ljubic, and the new Speaker of the Serbian Parliament, Maja Gojkovic. (Hina)