At OSCE PA Annual Session, parliamentarians debate political affairs, economic and environmental issues, human rights concerns
HELSINKI, 7 July 2015 – Parliamentary debate on political affairs, economic and environmental issues and human rights concerns is well under way at the OSCE Parliamentary Assembly’s Annual Session in Helsinki.
Nearly 300 parliamentarians from more than 50 OSCE participating States have divided into committees to debate draft resolutions and vote on amendments regarding pressing security issues. The crisis in and around Ukraine, arms control, the economic situation in Greece, the issue of migrants and refugees in the Mediterranean region, terrorism in the OSCE area and cybersecurity are among the topics being considered.
The resolutions that emerge from the committees will form the 2015 Helsinki Declaration. The document will contain the Assembly's wide-ranging policy recommendations for the OSCE and its participating States and is expected to be adopted on by majority vote on 9 July. Several supplementary items that are approved during the Session will be appended to the final Declaration.
Finnish President Niinisto, Foreign Minister Soini look to OSCE’s past, present, future at Parliamentary Assembly Annual Session
OSCE PA’s 2015 Annual Session in Helsinki today.HELSINKI, 6 July 2015 – Finnish President Sauli Niinisto, Finnish Foreign Minister Timo Soini and OSCE Parliamentary Assembly President Ilkka Kanerva (MP, Finland) recalled the OSCE’s past, assessed the OSCE’s present, and looked to the OSCE’s future in keynote addresses at the opening plenary of the
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In Finlandia Hall, the site of the signing of the Helsinki Final Act forty years ago, President Niinisto addressed nearly 300 parliamentarians from more than 50 countries in attendance.
“The most urgent task is to end violence in Ukraine. As postulated in the Helsinki Accords, both Moscow and the capitals in the West agreed to refrain from the use of force and respect the sovereignty of countries and inviolability of borders. These points are as valid today as they were 40 years ago. Or they are even more valid now, when these principles have been violated. They must be the basis for our actions today and tomorrow,” he said.
HELSINKI, 6 July 2015 – The OSCE Parliamentary Assembly’s International Secretariat has released the Final Report of its Helsinki +40 Project, presenting concrete proposals for reforming the OSCE to ensure its relevance and efficiency in the years ahead.
The report was presented today to parliamentarians from three continents attending the OSCE PA’s 2015 Annual Session, during a special event to commemorate the 40th anniversary of the OSCE’s founding document, the Helsinki Final Act.
A resolution based on the report and sponsored by Project Chair Joao Soares (MP, Portugal) is also under consideration at this year’s Annual Session, which is being held in Finlandia Hall, the site of the signing of the Final Act on 1 August 1975.
In presenting the report, OSCE PA President and Finnish parliamentarian Ilkka Kanerva said:
“We pay tribute to the Helsinki Final Act and the OSCE for advancing human security over the last four decades. But make no mistake: This is by no means the time to sit back and be satisfied. Today, the only fitting way to commemorate the Final Act is to strive with new urgency toward realizing its vision of respectful interstate relations and adherence to commitments -- and that requires reforming the way we work."
HELSINKI, 5 July 2015 – Roberto Montella of Italy has been elected the next Secretary General of the OSCE Parliamentary Assembly with a term starting on 1 January 2016.
The OSCE PA Standing Committee, composed of the Heads of National Delegations, voted in favor of Montella on the opening day of the Assembly’s 2015 Annual Session in Helsinki.
The Secretary General's mandate includes responsibility for managing the affairs of the OSCE PA, carrying out the decisions of the Bureau, the Standing Committee and the Assembly, and overseeing the Secretariat’s offices in Copenhagen and Vienna.
Addressing parliamentarians after his election, Montella said:
“I am honored and humbled by your confidence in me to facilitate our Assembly’s work. I deeply believe in the power of interparliamentary dialogue and its potential to inspire new ideas, solve problems and build bridges in international relations – something which we acutely need in the OSCE area today. I have spent much of my career trying to build bridges between conflicting sides in South East Europe and pledge to use my experience to the fullest to further your initiatives.