On World Refugee Day, OSCE parliamentarians and human trafficking representative call for more humane response to crisis
LAMPEDUSA, 20 June 2016 – On the occasion of World Refugee Day, OSCE parliamentarians called on countries across the OSCE region to more equitably share responsibilities towards refugees and migrants, as well as to improve integration measures to ensure that they can contribute to society.
The OSCE Parliamentary Assembly’s human rights and humanitarian committee chair, Portuguese parliamentarian Isabel Santos, was in Lampedusa, Italy, today, joining a delegation of the OSCE’s Special Representative and Co-ordinator for Combating Trafficking in Human Beings, Ambassador Madina Jarbussynova.
Highlighting the need for more cohesive policy responses, Swiss parliamentarian Filippo Lombardi, who chairs the OSCE PA’s Ad Hoc Committee on Migration, noted that the lack of a unified response is indicative of a leadership problem in the region.
COPENHAGEN, 17 June 2016 – In response to yesterday's murder of Jo Cox, a member of the British House of Commons, OSCE Parliamentary Assembly President Ilkka Kanerva (MP, Finland), issued the following statement:
"It was incredibly troubling to hear the news yesterday of British parliamentarian Jo Cox’s murder. Regardless of its motivations, a deplorable crime of this sort against an elected member of parliament, a mother of two, and a tireless humanitarian advocate is shocking and sad. As a fellow parliamentarian, I condemn this attack unequivocally and offer my deepest condolences to Ms. Cox’s family, her colleagues and to the British people.
"On behalf of the OSCE PA, which is committed to the type of open debate and discussion which Ms. Cox was such a strong advocate for, I deeply regret that her voice will no longer be heard in the British House of Commons."
In meeting with President Poroshenko, Kanerva urges full implementation of Minsk Agreements and welcomes efforts to speed up reforms
KYIV, 16 June 2016 – Expressing solidarity with Ukraine in meetings today with Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko and Foreign Minister Pavlo Klimkin, OSCE Parliamentary Assembly President Ilkka Kanerva (MP, Finland) urged the full implementation of the Minsk Agreements to end the conflict in the Donbas region and reiterated the Parliamentary Assembly’s readiness to do its part to de-escalate and resolve the crisis.
Meeting with Poroshenko, Kanerva noted his concern that six months after the deadlines for the Minsk II agreement had passed, the international community is still calling for a real ceasefire and the withdrawal of foreign fighters and weapons. Other unfulfilled goals, Kanerva recalled, include legitimate local elections in the east of Ukraine and the restoration of Ukrainian control over its eastern border.
“The Minsk Agreements remain the best path forward for Ukraine and the region, and despite setbacks, the goals set forth in these agreements are still achievable. In the PA, we have consistently condemned Russia’s illegal occupation and annexation of Crimea, in violation of the Helsinki Final Act, and have spoken out on serious humanitarian issues resulting from the crisis, including the detention of Ukrainian citizens,” Kanerva said.
Crisis of leadership in human rights to be debated at OSCE Parliamentary Assembly’s 25th Annual Session
COPENHAGEN, 16 June 2016 – Stressing that a revitalization of the OSCE’s commitment to the human dimension of security is needed at a time when a “crisis of leadership and ideas” is coinciding with a humanitarian emergency related to Europe’s refugee and migrant crisis, a report and draft resolution authored by Serbian parliamentarian Gordana Comic offer fresh approaches to ensuring human rights commitments are upheld by OSCE participating States.
The resolution, which will be considered by hundreds of members of parliament meeting at the OSCE Parliamentary Assembly’s 25th Annual Session in Tbilisi, Georgia, next month, raises concerns over the deprioritizing of human and democratic rights, and provides guidance on ways to improve the multidimensional approach to security that lies at the heart of the OSCE. The resolution will be debated and amended during a number of meetings of the OSCE PA’s General Committee on Democracy, Human Rights and Humanitarian Questions beginning on 2 July.
Comic, who serves as the committee’s rapporteur, said today that the lack of leadership and ideas regarding human rights is having a negative impact on the OSCE’s overall mission. “There is a need to put a spotlight on the lack of energy regarding the human rights agenda and how weak leadership is contributing to an emerging status quo that places political and military concerns above humanitarian and human rights concerns,” she said. “Respect for human rights, democracy and rule of law is fundamental to lasting security.”