COPENHAGEN, 1 October 2014 – The OSCE Parliamentary Assembly's 2014 Autumn Meeting, bringing together more than 450 participants from more than 50 countries, opens Friday, 3 October in Geneva, Switzerland.
The Meeting – the final major gathering of the Assembly this year – will feature an opening-day parliamentary debate on the crisis in Ukraine and international efforts to de-escalate the situation. The debate will be held during Session One, beginning at 13:00 GMT on 3 October.
Held under the theme "New Security Challenges: The Role of Parliaments," the Meeting is also expected to include debate involving dozens of parliamentarians from across the OSCE area on other topics within the OSCE's political-military, economic-environmental and human dimensions. Those topics include the threat of extremism, the global arms trade and the protection of minority and migrants' rights.
COPENHAGEN, 26 September 2014 – The first in the OSCE Parliamentary Assembly's Helsinki +40 seminar series has concluded in Moscow, with participants assessing the present role of the OSCE, including how the Organization is addressing the crisis in Ukraine.
The use of the OSCE's various tools in response was seen as a sign of the Organization's continued relevance, while the crisis also points to the need for reform.
The OSCE PA's Helsinki +40 Project is a series of international seminars at leading think-tanks that bring together diplomats, experts, politicians and academia to evaluate the OSCE's past and inspire reform ahead of the 40th anniversary of its founding document, the Helsinki Final Act of 1975.
COPENHAGEN, 25 September 2014 – Kent Harstedt (MP, Sweden), the Special Co-ordinator of the short-term OSCE observer mission for Ukraine's parliamentary elections, has met with Ukraine's Charge d'Affaires in Moscow to discuss opportunities for Ukrainian citizens in Russia to participate in the upcoming vote.
Harstedt, who serves as Vice-President of the OSCE Parliamentary Assembly, met Ukrainian Charge d'Affaires Ruslan Nimchinskyi on 23 September. He welcomed the intention of Ukrainian authorities to establish voting facilities in several major centers across Russia to help accommodate the 2-3 million Ukrainian citizens in the country. Harstedt and Nimchinskyi also discussed the importance of security and transparency in voting procedures.
Harstedt further detailed the OSCE's plans to deploy hundreds of short-term observers, including OSCE parliamentarians from across the OSCE area, to monitor the 26 October vote in Ukraine.
COPENHAGEN, 23 September 2014 – As the international community supports a diplomatic solution in Ukraine, the humanitarian impact of the crisis must not be overlooked, the OSCE Parliamentary Assembly's Mehmet Sevki Kulkuloglu told a gathering of international human rights experts in Warsaw.
Kulkuloglu, a member of the Turkish Parliament, serves as the Vice-Chair of the OSCE PA's Committee on Democracy, Human Rights and Humanitarian Questions. He is representing the Parliamentary Assembly this week at the OSCE's 2014 Human Dimension Implementation Meeting (HDIM), Europe's largest annual human rights and democracy conference.
"With thousands dead from the ongoing fighting, and more than a million now displaced, the human tragedy of this crisis cannot be ignored," Kulkuloglu said during the meeting's opening session on 22 September.