The Continued Fight: Upholding Human Right Standards in Europe

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A Lecture by Thorbjørn Jagland,  Secretary General of the Council of Europe

In this lecture, the Secretary General will speak about the Council of Europe’s continued efforts to promote human rights, democracy and rule of law and the importance of upholding these standards. He will discuss the significance of human rights in the current political environment, amid the rise of xenophobia and populism, and the importance of diversity.

The Council of Europe is the only multilateral organisation of its kind which has the Russian Federation as a member state. Some have voiced concerns that Russia might leave the organisation, which could set back human rights progress there.

Please note that event will be entirely 'off the record'.

Speaker biography

Mr Thorbjørn Jagland was elected Secretary General of the Council of Europe in September 2009.  In June 2014, he was re-elected, and his second term in office commenced on 1 October, 2014. He was the President of the Storting (Norwegian Parliament) from 2005 to 2009. He is a member of the Norwegian Nobel Committee, which awards the Nobel Peace Prize every year. He has held two of the most influential governmental positions in Norway: Prime Minister (1996-97) and Minister of Foreign Affairs (2000-2001).

After serving as Foreign Minister, he was Chairman of the Standing Committee on Foreign Affairs and the enlarged Foreign Affairs Committee in the Storting for four years (2001-2005). He also served as Chairman of the EEA Consultative Committee during this period (2000-2005). In addition, he has held a number of other parliamentary positions, such as head of the Storting's Delegation for Relations with the European Parliament for six years. He was a member of the Storting for 15 years. Mr Jagland was Leader of the Norwegian Labour Party for ten years (1992-2002), and Party Secretary of the Labour Party for five years (1987-1992). He is currently the Chairman of the Board of Directors at the Oslo centre for Peace and Human Rights, and Member of the International Board of Governors at the Peres Center for Peace. He served as Vice-President of the Socialist International 1999-2008, and Chair of the Social International Middle East Committee from 2000 to 2006. He was a member of the Sharm El-Sheikh Fact-finding Commission (The Mitchell Commission) from 2000 to 2001.

Over the last 20 years, Mr Jagland has published widely on a range of issues, in particular on European and international affairs. He has published four books in Norway: My European Dream (1990), Letters (1995), Our Vulnerable World(2001) and Ten Theses on the EU and Norway (2003). He holds a degree in Economics from the University of Oslo (1975). He was born on 5 November 1950 in Drammen, Norway. He is married to Hanne Grotjord. They have two children.


This event will start at 1730 and will be followed by a drinks reception.

For more information please contact Juliana -


Continuing Professional Development

This event has been certified for CPD purposes by the CPD Certification Service.

To obtain a CPD Certificate of Attendance please register with RUSI at the end of the event attended, and a certificate will be dispatched within 28 days. If an attendee fails to register with RUSI then it will not be possible to issue a certificate.

For more information please contact Jack Haines,


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