In January I attended the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe in Strasbourg as a delegate from the UK.
The Council was established in 1949. It was Attlee's Labour government who helped to form the Council along with 9 other European countries under the Treaty of London. It's objective is to promote democracy, human rights and the rule of law. Today, there are 47 member nations. The number expanding greatly after the fall of the Berlin Wall.
The council is separate from the European Union. One of the Councils's lasting achievements is the European Charter of Human a Rights. Today the council faces new challenges including terrorism, cybercrime torture and human trafficking.
The Council discussed at length issues around terrorism, especially foreign fighters in Syria and how to tackle terrorism and the fight against Da'esh. I put down a motion to seek the Council to further investigate the funding of Da'esh.
The Council's deliberations are ultimately considered by its Council of ministers. Each member state sends a government minister to the council of ministers who draw up new conventions based on the work of the broader Council of Europe. It is an important institution and proves if we want to sort out international problems we need to work together.