COPENHAGEN, 21 November 2015 – OSCE Parliamentary Assembly President Ilkka Kanerva (MP, Finland) and Secretary General Spencer Oliver today marked the 25th anniversary of the Charter of Paris for a New Europe and called on all OSCE participating States to reaffirm their commitment to the Charter’s values of democracy and human rights.
“The Charter of Paris laid out an ideological future for Europe and beyond based first and foremost on the principles of democracy and the standards for treating human beings that go with it. Given the democratic deficit and divisions that persist in the OSCE area today, we must all recommit in deed to the values that we committed to in ink 25 years ago,” President Kanerva said.
“The Charter’s call for the creation of our Assembly was recognition of the power of parliamentarians to enhance international dialogue and understanding, solve problems and hold each other accountable to mutually agreed standards. These are all functions that the Parliamentary Assembly continues to execute today and must continue to strengthen,” he added.
The Charter of Paris for a New Europe was signed on 21 November 1990 at the Second Conference for Security and Co-operation in Europe (CSCE) Summit. Reflecting a moment of seismic historical change and optimism that Europe’s East-West divide could finally be bridged, the Charter envisioned “a new era of democracy, peace and unity.”
COPENHAGEN, 20 November 2015 – U.S. Senator Roger Wicker, the Chair of the OSCE Parliamentary Assembly's Committee on Political Affairs and Security, today marked the 20th anniversary of the Dayton Agreement, which restored peace in Bosnia and Herzegovina and preserved the country’s unity and territorial integrity.
“The Dayton Agreement was a watershed moment in the post-Cold War era,” Wicker said.
“It laid the foundation for a successful, robust NATO peacekeeping force. The pact was also instrumental in holding accountable those responsible for war crimes, crimes against humanity and genocide for the first time since World War II. Finally, the accord set today’s standard for post-conflict recovery, including land mine removal and the search for missing persons.”
Chairperson Wicker also noted the fundamental impact of the Dayton Agreement on the OSCE.
“Dayton mandated that the OSCE oversee arms control efforts, develop confidence-building measures and make it possible for a country that was once nearly destroyed by war to hold elections in a reasonably democratic manner. As a result, the OSCE deployed its first large-scale field operation, a mission that still exists in Bosnia and Herzegovina today,” he said.
COPENHAGEN, 19 November 2015 – Resolution of the conflict in and around Ukraine and what the OSCE can do to better mitigate the migrant crisis and counter terrorism were the topics in focus as OSCE Parliamentary Assembly President Ilkka Kanerva (MP, Finland) addressed the Organization’s Permanent Council in Vienna today.
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Speaking before ambassadors from 57 OSCE participating States, the President acknowledged that central provisions of the Minsk Agreements will not be fulfilled by the end of 2015, as they should have been.
“Postponing [them] is not necessarily a deal-breaker. What matters most is getting there as soon as possible, without further delay,” he said.
“It is imperative that Ukraine regains control of the state border, but in the meantime there should be a stronger role for the OSCE to mitigate the negative effects of the situation at hand. I call on all OSCE participating States to work towards ensuring full access for the SMM monitors towards the border and to strengthen the embryo of a border mission that exists today.”
President Kanerva also reaffirmed that elections in the east of Ukraine will not be legitimate unless they are held under Ukrainian legislation, in accordance with the Minsk Agreements, and observed by the OSCE.
Multifaceted approach to migrant crisis the only way to overcome it, says OSCE PA’s Santos on European trip
COPENHAGEN, 18 November 2015 – The Chairperson of the OSCE Parliamentary Assembly's Committee on Democracy, Human Rights and Humanitarian Questions, Isabel Santos (MP, Portugal), today completed a visit to Brussels and Geneva for meetings with leading European officials on the crisis of migrants and refugees. She advocated a multifaceted approach as the only way to achieve a durable solution.
“The current crisis that we are facing will only be overcome if we approach it from multiple angles and successfully co-ordinate the wide range of efforts and actors. There is no quick and easy fix. We need to better implement the existing tools and capacities that the EU and the international community have, but also think outside of the box. Steps could range from an expansion of the mandate and budget of Frontex, to new vocational training programs and incentives for employers to hire migrants,” Santos said following her meetings.
She also emphasized the need to improve communication between countries affected by the crisis, which is currently insufficient, better integrate civil society into the response, and better track initiatives to avoid duplication and fill gaps.
Santos further noted that the OSCE and its Parliamentary Assembly can play a greater role in supporting dialogue to reduce international tensions stoked by the crisis; helping to co-ordinate efforts; and conveying a clear message of solidarity and tolerance.