PA presents Call for Action at Ministerial Council side event, urging a reaffirmation of OSCE’s purpose and raising its visibility

Call for ActionThe OSCE PA's Call for ActionCOPENHAGEN, 3 December 2020 – In an event featuring participation by more than 100 parliamentarians and diplomats, the OSCE Parliamentary Assembly today presented its initiative entitled “OSCE Call for Action: Reaffirming a Common Purpose” on the sidelines of the 27th Ministerial Council. (Watch a video of the event here.)

The PA’s Call for Action, which has been endorsed by 51 former OSCE Chairpersons-in-Office, Presidents of the OSCE PA, Secretaries General and other Heads of Institutions of the OSCE, aims to stimulate the work of the OSCE and increase the political attention to it. Additionally, the document reaffirms the importance of governments implementing their key commitments and proposes a set of considerations aimed at strengthening the role of the Organization in addressing the contemporary challenges, including through the promotion of genuine political dialogue.

OSCE PA High-Level Expert Ambassador Lamberto Zannier presented the initiative, underlining its timeliness and political significance. “It is a very strong message from the leaders of the OSCE over the last 30 years, calling for more effective multilateralism and for a stronger investment in dialogue,” Zannier said.

OSCE PA President George Tsereteli (Georgia) noted that parliamentarians can help the OSCE overcome the difficult period it is going through.

“Some of the challenges we witness are caused by a wider crisis of multilateralism – and these challenges are common to all international organizations,” Tsereteli said. “But some other aspects of this crisis are peculiar to the OSCE, and must be addressed. In particular, we regret that many capitals do not take into due consideration, or even seem to forget, the added value of the OSCE and the concrete benefits it brings to our citizens.”

The event also featured contributions from US Senator Ben Cardin, the OSCE PA’s Special Representative on Anti-Semitism, Racism and Intolerance; Swedish Ambassador Kent Härstedt, a former Vice-President of the OSCE PA; and Kanat Saudabayev, former OSCE Chairperson-in-Office and State Secretary of Kazakhstan.

Senator Cardin, who has been involved with the OSCE PA since 1992, expressed support for the PA’s Call for Action. There is strong bipartisan support in the US for the OSCE, he said, stressing that the organization promotes security, defends human rights and encourages democratic development in all OSCE countries. “It remains the responsibility of the participating States to hold each other to account,” Cardin said. “In the face of repression at home or aggression abroad, the OSCE will succeed as a multilateral forum as long as those who are true believers stand united in defending the ten Helsinki principles and forthrightly raise violations in this forum.”

Harstedt said that the incoming Swedish Chairmanship will focus on upholding the comprehensive concept of security, defending on the European security order and ensuring the inviolability of frontiers, and resolving conflicts. The Chairmanship will work closely with the OSCE field operations, he said, emphasizing their central role in advancing OSCE values and commitments. He also noted the role of parliamentary diplomacy in reinvigorating the organization.

Saudabayev stressed the importance of all three dimensions of security and recalled the renewal of commitments at the 2010 OSCE Astana Summit. He emphasized the necessity for political will to pursue concrete measures that would increase the effectiveness of the organization, urging the holding of an OSCE Summit in the near future.

In the discussion, participants touched upon the importance of the OSCE focusing on core competencies such as conflict resolution, as well as avoiding double standards and overcoming obstacles to dialogue. One of the challenges in developing a more effective organization, it was pointed out, is to establish a closer relationship between OSCE parliamentarians and ambassadors in Vienna.

OSCE PA Secretary General Roberto Montella emphasized the importance of better promoting the OSCE to the Foreign Ministers and increasing the organization’s visibility to highlight the good work that it does. In this regard, the OSCE PA’s Call for Action intends to raise the awareness in capitals and will be a starting point for a number of events that the OSCE PA intends to promote to revitalize the role of the OSCE in the interest of the improving the result for the end users of the OSCE product, Montella said.

The “OSCE Call for Action: Reaffirming a Common Purpose” is available in six languages here.

Download a Flipping Book version here.

OSCE Call for Action: Reaffirming a Common Purpose



Nat Parry

Head of Communications and Press

Office: +45 33 37 80 55
Mobile: +45 60 10 81 77
Email: [email protected]

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