COPENHAGEN, 29 June 2015 – OSCE Parliamentary Assembly President Ilkka Kanerva (MP, Finland) issued the following statement today on the passing of Petur Blondal of Iceland, the Assembly’s Special Representative on the OSCE Budget:
“The OSCE Parliamentary Assembly mourns the loss of our longtime colleague and friend, Petur Blondal. Serving for more than a decade as the PA’s Special Representative on the OSCE Budget, Petur will be remembered as a determined advocate for increased transparency and oversight in the Organization’s finances. He was also a strong supporter of the OSCE’s field presences, visiting many of them since his first joined the PA in 1995. We will also remember Petur as a steadfast supporter of the Parliamentary Assembly and a believer in the important role that parliamentarians can play not only in their home countries, but also at the international level. Many of the ideas that the Assembly is proposing for OSCE reform in this, the 40th anniversary year of the Helsinki Final Act, are in line with what Petur had been calling for all along. I extend my deepest condolences to Petur Blondal’s family, friends and colleagues.”
COPENHAGEN, 26 June 2015 – OSCE Parliamentary Assembly President Ilkka Kanerva (MP, Finland) today issued the following statement on the terrorist attacks in France, Tunisia and Kuwait:
“I am shocked and appalled by today’s terrorist attacks in France, Tunisia and Kuwait. On behalf of the more than 300 lawmakers of the OSCE Parliamentary Assembly, I extend my deepest condolences to the families and friends of the victims and to the governments and citizens of all three countries.
“These unjustifiable and cowardly acts have not only taken the lives of innocent bystanders, but represent a world view that is an affront to civilized society everywhere. They were also meant to sow fear and division within societies and the world at large. I call on all members of the international community to put differences aside in the face of this common threat. Indeed, it is only with solidarity and commitment to upholding basic human values, both within and beyond the OSCE area, that we will overcome the challenge of violent extremism.”
France is one of the OSCE’s 57 participating States. Tunisia is one of the OSCE’s six Mediterranean Partners for Co-operation.
OSCE PA Annual Session: Ukraine crisis, refugee tragedy, climate change feature in Draft Resolutions
COPENHAGEN, 25 June 2015 – The crisis in and around Ukraine, the plight of migrants and refugees, arms control, climate change and minority rights are among a diverse array of critical security issues on the agenda at the OSCE Parliamentary Assembly’s Annual Session next month.
The Annual Session, held on 5-9 July in Helsinki, will bring together nearly 300 lawmakers from three continents. It will culminate in the adoption of the 2015 Helsinki Declaration, containing the Assembly's policy recommendations in the fields of political affairs, economics, the environment and human rights.
Draft Resolutions from each of the Assembly’s three General Committees will be debated, amended, and approved through majority voting before they are combined into the Declaration. The final document is then sent to the foreign ministers of OSCE participating States and presented in national parliaments.
The Draft Resolution of the Committee on Political Affairs and Security condemns ongoing violations of the ceasefire in Ukraine; “deeply deplores the flagrant violations of the OSCE core principles by the Russian Federation in the context of the conflict”; urges all parties to the conflict to allow unfettered access to OSCE monitors; and calls on Russia to “use its full influence on the illegal separatists in Ukraine to comply with all commitments under the Minsk Agreement.”
COPENHAGEN, 23 June 2015 – Nearly 300 lawmakers from more than 50 states in the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe will return to the OSCE’s Finnish birthplace next month to mark the 40th anniversary of the Organization’s founding and address some of today’s most pressing security issues at the 2015 Annual Session of the OSCE Parliamentary Assembly.
The Session, which runs 5-9 July, will be hosted by the Parliament of Finland in historic Finlandia Hall, the site of the signing of the Helsinki Final Act in 1975.
Finnish President Sauli Niinisto, Finnish Foreign Minister Timo Soini and OSCE Chairperson-in-Office and Serbian Foreign Minister Ivica Dacic will be among the keynote speakers at the Session, which will be held under the theme "Recalling the Spirit of Helsinki."
OSCE PA President Ilkka Kanerva of Finland and several speakers of national parliaments will be in attendance at the Assembly’s largest annual meeting.
The Session will feature debate and decision-making on a wide range of issues of concern to the OSCE area and the international community, including the situation in and around Ukraine, the refugee and migrant crisis in the Mediterranean and larger OSCE area, terrorism, arms control, climate change, pressure on civil society and much more.
It will culminate in the adoption by majority vote of the 2015 Helsinki Declaration, which will contain the Assembly's wide-ranging policy recommendations for the OSCE and its participating States in the fields of political affairs, economics, the environment and human rights.