Council of Europe: Despite its imperfections the alternative is too ghastly to contemplate

The value of the Council of Europe (CoE) and its statements are called into question in this report on BBC Northern Ireland:

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-northern-ireland-44116786

The issue covered is the CoE call for an Irish Language Act to be introduced in the six counties and the point is made that it is not the first time the body has issued such a call

The BBC NI article concludes by averring that some think the Council of Europe is only ‘a talking shop with little power other than diplomatic pressure’. However this is a fallacy as the CoE since its inception has been a force for good not just in relation to languages, minorities etc but also in terms of social justice and human rights.

Its remit stretches from the West coast of Ireland to the Urals and the plethora of bodies that it covers ensure standards of fairness and decency that have ensured that Europe since WW2 has been a better place.

You need to look no further to demonstrate this than another story that the BBC are covering at the moment about the one country in Europe, Belarus, outside the gambit of the Council of Europe. Belarus under a dictatorial regime is a truly dreadful country (see link):

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-europe-43799280

There is little respect from the Belarus regime for the norms of International Law, recognition of minorities or human rights.

Without the Council of Europe and its agencies many other countries would slip into a new dark age and I for one am glad that the CoE exists. Despite its imperfections the alternative is too ghastly to contemplate!

Image: Ill treatment of prisoners is endemic in Belarus which is outside the inspection regime of the Council of Europe CPT.

Bernard Moffatt

pp Celtic League Military Monitoring

May 15th 2018

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