January 25, 2006
Strasbourg, 25.01.2006 – The Council of Europe Parliamentary Assembly (PACE) today strongly condemned the massive human rights violations committed by totalitarian communist regimes and expressed sympathy, understanding and recognition for the victims of these crimes.
The Assembly – which brings together parliamentarians from 46 European countries – said in a resolution that these violations included individual and collective assassinations and executions, death in concentration camps, starvation, deportations, torture, slave labour and other forms of mass physical terror.
The peoples of the former USSR by far outnumbered other peoples in terms of the number of victims, the parliamentarians said.
They also called on all communist or post-communist parties in Council of Europe member states which had not so far done so “to reassess the history of communism and their own past […] and condemn them without any ambiguity”.
“The Assembly believes that this clear position of the international community will pave the way to further reconciliation,” the parliamentarians added.
The Council of Europe was “well placed” for this debate, the Assembly pointed out, since all former European communist countries, with the exception of Belarus, are now its members and the protection of human rights and the rule of law are the basic values for which it stands.
A draft recommendation calling on Europe’s governments to adopt an official declaration of the international condemnation of crimes of totalitarian communist regimes did not receive the necessary two-thirds majority of the votes cast.
A draft recommendation called on Europe’s governments to adopt a similar declaration and to carry out legal investigations of individuals engaged in crimes committed under totalitarian communist regimes did not receive the necessary two-thirds majority of the votes cast.
Octobr 17, 2008 - President Bush Discusses the Visa Waiver Program
Office of the Press Secretary/
White House News
THE PRESIDENT: Thank you all. (Applause.) Please be seated, thank you. Welcome to the White House. I'm pleased to stand with the representatives of seven countries -- the Czech Republic, Estonia, Hungary, Latvia, Lithuania, Slovakia, and South Korea -- that have met the requirements to be admitted to the United States Visa Waiver Program. Soon the citizens of these nations will be able to travel to the United States for business or tourism without a visa. I congratulate these close friends and allies on this achievement, and I thank you for joining us here.
I also thank Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice and Secretary of the Homeland -- Department of Homeland Security Michael Chertoff for working hard to make sure this day has finally arrived. Appreciate other members of the administration here and members of the Diplomatic Corps.
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