Europe must continue supporting Ukraine ‘for as long as it takes’, PM tells summit

Prime Minister Robert Abela says the challenges brough about by the war in Ukraine, come as the European continent faces a climate change crisis, migration and ‘democratic backsliding’

Prime Minister Robert Abela
Prime Minister Robert Abela

Prime Minister Robert Abela said Europe must continue supporting Ukraine for “as long as it takes” to ensure all those responsible are held accountable.

“There can be no peace without justice. And no justice without accountability,” Robert Abela told the fourth Council of Europe Summit in Reykjavik in Iceland. c

The Summit is an historic opportunity to reaffirm the common commitment to the Council of Europe’s core values and to refocus its mission in the light of new threats to human rights and democracy, and to further support Ukraine to help achieve justice for victims of the Russian aggression. It will also boost initiatives on emerging challenges to democracy and human rights, including the environment and artificial intelligence.

“For already 447 days, our brothers and sisters in Ukraine have been under direct attack and at the receiving end of the most serious crimes under international law,” he said.

Prime Minister Robert Abela speaking during Council of Europe Summit in Reykjavik
Prime Minister Robert Abela speaking during Council of Europe Summit in Reykjavik

Abela said the war comes in parallel with other crises facing the continent, such as climate change, migration and “the democratic backsliding.”

“The rise of the anti-gender movement is another worrying challenge for which we must double our efforts to counter its harmful rhetoric; and prioritize gender equality in all our work and at all levels,” the PM said.

He said the Council of Europe has been pivotal in setting solid standards in the field of human rights. Particularly through the system developed around its first ever Convention, the European Convention on Human Rights.

“As a beating heart is central to sustaining life, so is the Convention system to the

Council’s protection of human rights,” he said. “We need to continuously invest in it and provide it with the tangible and collective support necessary to ensure its long-term sustainability and effectiveness.”

Concluding, the PM said human rights, democracy, and the rule of law are the core values which brought Europe together. “Let us make sure that we continue to respect, promote, and protect them while never losing sight of what’s on the other side of ‘never again’.”