said in an address at United Nations Headquarters in New York on 1 September.COPENHAGEN, 2 September 2015 – Better co-operation among parliaments and interparliamentary bodies is crucial to meeting sustainable development goals and managing crises, OSCE Parliamentary Assembly President Ilkka Kanerva (MP, Finland)
President Kanerva spoke before leaders from some 140 countries gathered at the Inter-Parliamentary Union’s World Conference of Speakers of Parliament.
“Are we moving towards a more secure world, with Sustainable Development Goals taken seriously, or are we moving towards more confrontation, or even war? The answer to that question depends on us and on our ability to deepen our co-operation and to tolerate each other in order to secure peaceful and humane international development,” the OSCE PA President said.
“A project towards more efficient and comprehensive co-operation between international parliamentary organizations should be launched as soon as possible,” he advocated.
COPENHAGEN, 1 September 2015 – The OSCE Parliamentary Assembly’s Democracy, Human Rights and Humanitarian Chair, Isabel Santos (MP, Portugal), today called for the immediate release of Azerbaijani investigative journalist Khadija Ismayilova, who was sentenced earlier on 1 September to 7 ½ years in prison.
“Ms. Ismayilova has earned several awards for her reporting. The reward she got today from her country’s justice system was a harsh prison term. It is clear to me that this is a politically motivated response to Ms. Ismayilova’s work to hold her country’s leaders accountable. With every journalist, human rights defender and civil society leader it harasses or jails, Azerbaijan distances itself further and further from democratic values and OSCE human dimension commitments.
“I call on the authorities to abandon their authoritarian practices and immediately release Ms. Ismayilova, along with the numerous human rights defenders, civil society leaders and other journalists currently and unfairly behind bars,” Santos said.
COPENHAGEN, 31 August 2015 – OSCE Parliamentary Assembly President Ilkka Kanerva (MP, Finland) today condemned the violence that occurred during protests outside of Ukraine’s parliament earlier on 31 August, which resulted in the death of at least one member of the National Guard and scores injured.
“There is no justification for the violence that occurred in Kyiv today. The last thing that Ukraine needs is more blood spilled on its soil and more destruction, and I urge protesters to express their grievances by peaceful means only. Ukraine’s parliament, and society at large, is grappling with tough and emotionally charged issues that have a direct bearing on war and peace and commitments under the Minsk Agreements. Broad national dialogue and work through democratic channels is what is needed, not bombs,” Kanerva said.
President Kanerva called on those responsible for the violence to be held accountable in accordance with the law. He expressed his condolences to the victims and their families.
COPENHAGEN, 27 August 2015 – OSCE Parliamentary Assembly Secretary General Spencer Oliver hosted his counterpart from the North Atlantic Treaty Organization Parliamentary Assembly (NATO PA), David Hobbs, and his counterpart from the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE), Wojciech Sawicki, on 26 August for the latest in regular consultations between the three Secretaries General.
In discussions held at the OSCE PA International Secretariat in Copenhagen, the Secretaries General addressed the crisis in and around Ukraine, the assemblies’ responses to the crisis, and the effect on relations between the three bodies and Russia.
The Secretaries General also discussed the upcoming local elections in Ukraine and other elections scheduled during the remainder of 2015.
Oliver, Hobbs and Sawicki further discussed gender balance within their respective assemblies and addressed logistical issues concerning upcoming meetings.