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Monday, 17 January 2011 - StrasbourgFinal edition

3. Statements by the President

The President said that 27 January 2011 would be the 66th anniversary of the liberation of the Auschwitz-Birkenau concentration camp.

The President recalled that on 13 January 2011 Lithuania had commemorated the 20th anniversary of 'Bloody Sunday' when the Soviet army had tried to overthrow the democratically elected government. He took the opportunity to express solidarity with the people of neighbouring Belarus, who were still awaiting freedom and democracy in their country.

The President welcomed the ratification by the European Union on 23 December 2010 of the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, which would be a means of guaranteeing equal rights for the approximately 80 million people with disabilities in the EU.

The President expressed his concern at the disappearance of the Chinese opposition activist Gao Zhisheng and appealed to the Chinese Government to reveal his state of health and his place of detention.

He recalled that Hungary had taken over the Presidency of the Council of European Union from Belgium at the start of the year.

The President concluded by referring to the recent elections in Belarus and to the clashes in Tunisia and expressed Parliament's solidarity with the victims and the governments of the countries recently struck by natural disasters.

Last updated: 18 February 2011Legal notice