Minister for Foreign Affairs of Ukraine Kostyantyn Gryshchenko started his work as Chairman of the Committee of Ministers of the Council of Europe in Istanbul on May 11. Ukraine took over the chairmanship from Turkey by November 2011 to be followed by Great Britain. During the solemn ceremony in Istanbul Minister for Foreign Affairs of Turkey Ahmet Davutoglu passed “a symbolic key to Europe” over to Kostyantyn Gryshchenko.
The key role in the most influential European organization in the sphere of formation and protection of standards of democracy and human rights will allow to significantly strengthen the positions of Ukraine in the European political space, promote success of European integration, which was set by President Viktor Yanukovych as a priority task of governmental policies. During the chairmanship Ukraine plans to focus the activity of the Council of Europe on children’s rights protection, local democracy development, search for common answers to challenges of expansion of radical nationalism and intolerance. Ukraine speaks up for the further consolidation of the Council of Europe as a platform for formation of common European values of democracy and humanism for all the countries of the continent irrespectively of their participation in other supranational associations.