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Debates
Monday, 12 December 2005 - Strasbourg OJ edition

11. Order of business
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  President. The final version of the draft agenda, as drawn up by the Conference of Presidents at its meeting of Thursday 8 December 2005 pursuant to Rules 130 and 131 of the Rules of Procedure has been distributed.

- Wednesday:

 
  
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  Martin Schulz (PSE). – (DE) Mr President, I have a request to make in relation to the agenda for Wednesday. It has to do with the statements made by President Ahmadinejad of Iran. I believe that the statements made by the President of Iran over recent days to be something on which either you, as President of this House, or the President of the Council should take up a position. I find it unacceptable that a Head of State should come out with utterances, in more or less plain and frank language, questioning the right of a state, and of a whole people, to exist, and going so far as to incite a breach of the peace in the region (applause) and the opening of the door to violence in it. Let me tell the House, on behalf of my group – and I do think that the applause shows that I am, perhaps exceptionally, speaking on behalf of all Members here – that anyone who argues along the lines adopted by the President of Iran with regard to Israel is offending against the fundamental laws and rules of the international community, and I think that a multinational parliament such as our own should repudiate what they say in the most forthright terms. That is what we expect the Council to do on behalf of the Council of Heads of State and of Government!

(Applause)

 
  
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  Hannes Swoboda (PSE). – (DE) Mr President, it might have been lost in translation that what Mr Schulz was asking for was that the Council Presidency, in its Wednesday statement, should take a view on this issue and make it perfectly clear where the Council stands on it.

 
  
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  President. Alright, I shall therefore communicate Mr Martin Schulz’s request to the Presidency of the Council so that it can be incorporated into its statement, but we are not formally altering any item on the agenda.

- Thursday:

The Group of the Alliance of Liberals and Democrats for Europe has made a request calling for the title of the debate ‘Detention of monks and closure of a monastery in Tibet’ to be replaced with ‘The Human Rights Situation in Tibet and Hong Kong’.

 
  
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  Graham Watson (ALDE). – Mr President, I would be pleased to justify the request very briefly. My group had sought a motion on Hong Kong in view of the recent statements there by the government of the territory, which suggest that there is not to be any movement towards universal suffrage. I think the House will be aware of the extremely large demonstration that took place in Hong Kong ten days ago – the Hong Kong people demonstrating in favour of universal suffrage and full democracy. This House has always supported them in the past and it seems to me a good opportunity to use this occasion to do so again.

 
  
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  Hannes Swoboda (PSE). – (DE) Mr President, we want to endorse this request, for, if we are talking in terms of matters of urgency, this very definitely is one, a fact reinforced by the demonstrations to which Mr Watson has referred. We see it as the fly in the ointment that developments in Hong Kong are not going the way we would wish or the way that the Government of the People’s Republic of China did, to some degree, promise that they would. Our support for a justifiable cause is not something intended to be detrimental to China or to the People’s Republic, but rather something that we want to do for the people of Hong Kong as they attempt to build democracy. China needs to understand that this attempt to build democracy in Hong Kong would also bring great benefits to China itself. With this in mind, we endorse this request.

(Parliament approved the proposed amendment)

 
  
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  President. The Group of the Alliance of Liberals and Democrats for Europe is also asking that the title of the debate on ‘Ethiopia’, as it appears in the debates on cases of breaches of human rights, democracy and the rule of law, be replaced with ‘Ethiopia and new border conflicts’.

 
  
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  Graham Watson (ALDE). – Mr President, my Group should like to propose changing the title to: ‘Ethiopia and new border conflicts’. As the House is aware, the problems in this region relate not only to Ethiopia but also very much to other border conflicts in the area, and it seemed to us that we might extend the scope of the resolution to take account of that.

 
  
  

(Parliament approved the proposed amendment)

(The order of business was adopted)(1)

 
  

(1)For other changes to the order of business: see Minutes.

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