STRASBOURG, JANUARY 23 – Italian citizen Michele Nicoletti has been elected as the new President of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE). Nicoletti was endorsed for this positon at the opening of the PACE January session in Strasbourg on Monday. Taking over from Stella Kyriakides (Cyprus, EPP/CD), he is the 31st President of the Assembly since 1949 and the second Italian to hold this office.
“Congratulations to Michele Nicoletti for being elected President of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE). This election is an important confirmation of Italy’s longstanding commitment to human rights”, the Italian Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation Angelino Alfano said after the election.
Nicoletti was the only candidate for the position this time. PACE’s president has a one-year term of office with a possibility of being extended for another year once. In his inaugural address, the newly-elected President called for increased unity of the Council of Europe “as the only European institution that brings together 47 countries around the values of human rights, democracy, the rule of law and acceptance of its European Court”.
“At a time of great and dramatic challenges – from terrorism to migration, from poverty old and new to mistrust in representative institutions, from the re-emergence of racism and xenophobia to the desperate solitude of so many people – we must offer a response to nationalist and chauvinistic temptations to close ranks, to centrifugal pressures and to conflicts by reasserting the need for peace and justice on our continent,” he said. (@OnuItalia)