Turkey, at helm of CoE, vows to speed up reform
Turkey on Wednesday took over the chairmanship of the Committee of Ministers of the Council of Europe from Macedonia, with Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu declaring that Turkey will work to speed up reform in the 47-nation organization during its tenure. Davutoglu said it was a great honor and privilege to take over the committee, the CoE's chief decision-making body, and pledged to continue close cooperation and coordination with the outgoing chair as well as upcoming ones. He said the priorities of Turkey's chair are designed to enhance the political role, visibility, and influence of the oldest pan-European organization on the continental and international scene. Davutoglu said Turkey will make every effort during its chairmanship to boost the CoE's international visibility as an innovative and flexible organization. Turkey's five priorities for its six months at the helm are reform of the CoE and European Court of Human Rights (ECHR), strengthening monitoring mechanisms, accelerating the EU's accession to the EU to the European Convention of Human Rights (ECHR), and addressing the challenges of multicultural European societies, he said. Davutoglu added that these ECHR reform efforts will continue the process begun in Interlaken this February.