COPENHAGEN, 29 April 2010 — President Joao Soares has extended the mandate of and appointed new leadership to the OSCE Parliamentary Assembly’s Ad Hoc Committee on Transparency and Accountability.

In a note to Committee members, President Soares cites the Assembly’s adoption of a resolution at the Annual Session in Vilnius calling for strengthening the OSCE, emphasizing that it is time to reinvigorate the work of the Transparency Committee.

The Ad Hoc Committee began its work in 2001 following the adoption of a resolution on transparency and accountability in the OSCE at the tenth Annual Session in Paris. The initial mandate included putting forward recommendations on how to improve the work of the OSCE and to increase its transparency.

With the new mandate, the Ad Hoc Committee will also provide input to the OSCE Corfu Process, launched in June 2009 at an informal meeting of OSCE foreign ministers on Corfu. The goal of this OSCE process is to restore confidence and promote dialogue on wider European security.

Other key priorities of the Committee include changing the use of the secret single country veto in the decision-making procedure of the OSCE, to improve the level of feedback from the Governmental side on the Assembly’s recommendations and Declarations, and to establish regular contacts between the leadership of the OSCE and its Parliamentary Assembly.

“There must be,” Mr. Soares writes, “better oversight of the expenditure of taxpayers’ money within this Organization, to ensure that it remains as effective as possible and has the support of our public. I hope that we will be able to renew our work on improving the OSCE.”

The Deputy Speaker of the Finnish Parliament, Johannes Koskinen, has agreed to chair the Committee, which is made up of senior members of the Assembly from thirteen different countries. They are: Adil Akhmetov, Kazakhstan; Vilija Abramikiene, Lithuania; Petros Efthymiou, Greece; Xavier De Donnea, Belgium; Consiglio Di Nino, Canada; Pia Christmas-Moeller, Denmark; Doris Barnett, Germany; Riccardo Migliori, Italy; Pawel Poncyljusz, Poland; Alexander Kozlovskiy, Russia; Suzana Grubjesic, Serbia; Goran Lennmarker, Sweden; and Tony Lloyd, UK.