Ten countries signed the Treaty of London in 1949, creating the Council of Europe. Now with 47 member states, the Organisation encompasses almost all European countries. Since its creation, the Council of Europe has pursued its mandate to promote and foster respect for its fundamental values: democracy, the rule of law and human rights. Over the last 60 years these values have flourished in Europe on an unprecedented scale, and the Council of Europe is dedicated to ensuring that the numerous rights and legal standards that it has nurtured continue to thrive for Europe’s citizens.
The year 2009 was marked by a number of celebrations: the 60th anniversary of the Organisation, the 50th anniversary of the European Court of Human Rights, the 20th anniversary of the European Committee for the Prevention of Torture and Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment, and the 10th anniversary of the Office of the Commissioner for Human Rights.
The promotion of intercultural dialogue continued throughout the year, with the official presentation in several European capitals of the White Paper on Intercultural Dialogue, which has been translated into more than a dozen languages, and the continuation of the campaign “Speak out against discrimination”, which aims to increase public and media awareness of the fight against all forms of discrimination. The 1st Council of Europe Conference of Ministers responsible for Media and New Communication Services was also held in May 2009.
This annual report outlines the work carried out in 2009 by the various bodies and sectors of the Council of Europe.