COPENHAGEN, 29 July 2014 – OSCE parliamentarians will travel to Turkey next week to observe the country’s upcoming presidential election and provide leadership for the OSCE's short-term observer mission.
OSCE Chairperson-in-Office Didier Burkhalter has designated Vilija Aleknaite Abramikiene (MP, Lithuania) as Special Co-ordinator of the mission to observe the 10 August vote. Asa Lindestam (MP, Sweden) will serve as Head of the OSCE PA Delegation, which includes more than 20 parliamentarians from 15 OSCE participating States.
“This vote will be a milestone in Turkey’s history as its first direct presidential election. We hope that its conduct will demonstrate Turkey’s adherence to democratic commitments, which must be fully respected not only during this period, not only during elections, but throughout society in the months and years to come,” Aleknaite Abramikiene said.
COPENHAGEN, 25 July 2014 – Isabel Santos (MP, Portugal), the Chair of the OSCE Parliamentary Assembly’s Committee on Democracy, Human Rights and Humanitarian Questions, today expressed concern over events this week in Russia that appear aimed at stifling civil society and political dissent.
“While the world focuses on the crisis in Ukraine and Russia’s troubling role in those events, no one should overlook what has been a disturbing week of abuses in Russia itself,” Santos said.
“With the naming of several more NGOs as ‘foreign agents’ -- including perhaps the country’s most prestigious, Memorial -- all Russian civil society groups that do not mirror the Kremlin have reason to fear for their very existence,” she said. “Separately, the sentencing of leading opposition figures in connection with the infamous Bolotnaya case sends the message that in the political sphere as well, there is ever-shrinking room and ever-increasing risk for dissent.”
COPENHAGEN, 18 July 2014 – OSCE Parliamentary Assembly President Ilkka Kanerva (MP, Finland) issued the following statement today on the crash of Malaysian Airlines flight MH17 over eastern Ukraine:
"I deplore in the strongest possible terms the apparent downing of a Malaysian Airlines flight near Ukraine's border with Russia. On behalf of the OSCE Parliamentary Assembly, I extend my deepest condolences to the families and friends of the victims of this horrific tragedy and to the governments whose nationals have perished.
"A swift, thorough, international investigation is needed to determine the exact circumstances of the crash and bring the perpetrators to justice. However, there are already strong indications that a missile launched from rebel-controlled areas may have caused this catastrophe. In that case, there would be no doubt that those responsible for the illicit flow of military hardware and weapons into eastern Ukraine and those who directly or indirectly challenge the Ukrainian government's authority over its own territory bear the ultimate responsibility. I reiterate my call for an unconditional ceasefire that is respected by all sides and urge the governments in Moscow and Kyiv to do all in their power to immediately de-escalate this situation."
President Kanerva futher urged the Russian and Ukrainian governments to enlist the OSCE's full support at this critical time.
Wide-ranging recommendations in fields of security, human rights and more approved by wide margin
HERE)BAKU, 2 July 2014 – The OSCE Parliamentary Assembly has adopted the Baku Declaration, lending political support to wide-ranging policy recommendations for the OSCE and its 57 participating States in the fields of political affairs and security, economics, the environment and human rights. (Full text available
The crisis in Ukraine is among the document’s central themes.
The Declaration was adopted after 97 parliamentarians voted in favour and 1 against at the conclusion of the 2014 OSCE Parliamentary Assembly's Annual Session in the Azerbaijani capital.
Nine OSCE parliamentarians abstained, including members of the Russian Delegation to the Assembly.