Treaty of London (Statute of the Council of Europe):
The Governments of the Kingdom of Belgium, the Kingdom of Denmark, the French Republic, the Irish Republic, the Italian Republic, the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg, the Kingdom of the Netherlands, the Kingdom of Norway, the Kingdom of Sweden and the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland;
Convinced that the pursuit of peace based upon justice and international cooperation is vital for the preservation of human society and civilisation;
Reaffirming their devotion to the spiritual and moral values which are the common heritage of their peoples and the true source of individual freedom, political liberty and the rule of law, principles which form the basis of all genuine democracy;
Believing that, for the maintenance and further realisation of these ideals and in the interests of economic and social progress, there is a need of a closer unity between all like-minded countries of Europe;
Considering that, to respond to this need and to the expressed aspirations of their peoples in this regard, it is necessary forthwith to create an organisation which will bring European States into closer association;
Have in consequence decided to set up a Council of Europe consisting of a committee of representatives of governments and of a consultative assembly…
The Council of Europe is an international organisation based in Strasbourg which comprises 47 countries of Europe.
It was Churchill who had put forward the idea of a Council of Europe in 1946.
The role and structure of the Council of Europe was discussed at the 1948 Hague Conference.
It was finally set up on the 5th May 1949.
The aim of the Council of Europe is to promote democracy and protect human rights and the rule of law in Europe.
It drew up the Convention for the Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms in 1950.
The Convention created the European Court of Human Rights (it is based in Strasbourg) which supervises compliance with the Convention (it is the highest court in Europe for human rights and fundamental freedoms).