TIRANA, Albania, 21 May 2013 – Governments and parliaments should increase efforts to counter hate speech or racist content on-air and online, OSCE Parliamentary Assembly Special Representative on South East Europe Roberto Battelli said today at the opening of the OSCE High-Level Conference on Tolerance and Non-discrimination in Tirana.
Speaking at the opening of the Tolerance and Non-Discrimination conference, Battelli said, "Despite the progress made, the OSCE region still remains vulnerable to intolerant behavior and discrimination on the basis of religion, ethnicity and gender."
ASTANA, Kazakhstan, 21 May 2013 – OSCE PA President Wolfgang Grossruck is in Kazakhstan this week for a round of high-level meetings before participating in the Astana Economic Summit Thursday.
Meeting Monday with Speaker of the Senate Kairat Mami and Speaker of the Mazhilis Nurlan Nigmatulin, Grossruck encouraged the full participation of the Kazakhstani delegation to the OSCE PA at the upcoming Annual Session in Istanbul and stressed the importance of speakers of parliament attending such events to strengthen inter-parliamentary dialogue.
Bulgaria’s elections competetive and well run, but trust in process is lacking, international observers say
The campaign was competitive and generally free of violence, and the caretaker government undertook several measures to hold genuine elections. Cases of pre-election wiretapping and concerns over last-minute incidents related to ballot security, however, weakened public confidence in the process. The campaign was at times negative, with some parties using inflammatory and xenophobic rhetoric. Allegations of vote-buying continued, negatively affecting the campaign environment, the international observers noted.
WARSAW, 13 May 2013 – Governments must protect media freedom online and off to be in line with international commitments and to ensure respect for citizens' fundamental freedoms, the vice-chair of the OSCE Parliamentary Assembly's human rights committee said today at the opening of an international media freedom conference.
Speaking to an audience of diplomats and civil society representatives at the start of the OSCE Human Dimension Seminar in Warsaw, Isabel Santos (MP, Portugal) called media freedom the background for the other commitments related to rights to expression, assembly, and fair elections.
YEREVAN, Armenia, 11 May 2013 – After concluding a week-long visit to Azerbaijan, Georgia and Armenia, the OSCE Parliamentary Assembly Special Representative on South Caucasus stressed the importance of continuing democratic development and peace building in the region.
"The only hope for a peaceful settlement of the conflict in Nagorno-Karabakh comes down to the political leaders in Armenia and Azerbaijan," Joao Soares said today. "There is no alternative to a peaceful solution."