Outlining the UK's vision as the Council of Europe's new chair, the UK foreign minister, William Hague, addressed delegates at the official handover ceremony in Strasbourg on Monday.
Excerpts of Hague's speech are reproduced below:
"Human rights, democracy and rule of law are central to the policy of the United Kingdom in every area of government.
"We are committed to working through the international system to strengthen the implementation of these principles. They underpin our collective security and prosperity."
“We will make the promotion and protection of human rights the overarching theme of our Chairmanship."
"The United Kingdom is absolutely committed to European Convention on Human Rights, as the founding document for our Government, the Coalition Programme, clearly states. It reflects many of the basic rights and freedoms that have been found in British law for centuries."
See speech in full here.
Hague made these comments whilst speaking at the official handover ceremony in Strasbourg on Monday.
Ukraine had previously held the Chairmanship.