Nearly 200 parliamentarians gather in Yerevan for the OSCE Parliamentary Assembly’s 21st Autumn Meeting



181123 photo 1Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan delivers opening remarks in Yerevan, 18 November 2023 (Photo courtesy of the National Assembly of Armenia)YEREVAN, 18 November 2023 – The OSCE Parliamentary Assembly’s 21st Autumn Meeting opened today in Yerevan with calls for reinforcing multilateralism, including by ensuring that the OSCE is strengthened ahead of its 50th anniversary in 2025, in order to build sustainable peace and true security in the Euro-Atlantic region. Keynote speakers and parliamentarians highlighted ongoing conflicts in Ukraine and in the Middle East, as well as recent military hostilities in the South Caucasus, as evidence of the need for a bolder approach to international diplomacy and co-operative security.

Speaking at the opening session were Nikol Pashinyan, Prime Minister of Armenia; Alen Simonyan, President of the National Assembly of Armenia; and Pia Kauma, President of the OSCE PA. OSCE Secretary General Helga Schmid and Armen Grigoryan, Secretary of the Security Council of the Republic of Armenia, spoke at session one of the Parliamentary Conference. More than 300 participants, including nearly 200 parliamentarians from some 50 countries, are taking part in the Autumn Meeting.

“As we seemingly navigate from crisis to crisis, failing to anticipate major events, we should remind ourselves that, almost half a century ago, our countries came together once more to break this destructive cycle,” President Kauma said. “Through shared values and effective multilateralism, the OSCE has since strived to achieve greater stability and security throughout our vast region. But without strong political will, multilateralism will always be limited.”

Prime Minister Pashinyan discussed the Armenia-Azerbaijan peace process, noting that the main principles of peace have been agreed but that significant obstacles and persistent mistrust between the two countries continue to hinder progress. He urged sustained efforts to normalize relations in the region.

Speaker Simonyan highlighted the challenges that his country faces following the September military operation in Azerbaijan, stressing that for the sake of peaceful co-existence for future generations, peace talks must continue. There is a historic opportunity at the moment, he said, stressing that Armenia is also eager to normalize relations with Türkiye. “Our region needs peace,” he underlined.

181123 photo 2OSCE Secretary General Helga Schmid and OSCE PA President Pia Kauma in Yerevan, 18 November 2023The Autumn Meeting’s Parliamentary Conference, being held under the theme “OSCE in Times of Crisis: Role of the PA in Responding to Internal and External Challenges,” opened with remarks by OSCE Secretary General Schmid and Secretary of the Security Council Grigoryan. Speaking about the OSCE’s role in a deeply challenging political climate, Schmid said that although the organization faces challenges, the OSCE continues to deliver on its mandates and to play a meaningful role in enhancing security for all.

Grigoryan spoke about Armenia’s experiences with democratization, noting that Armenia has undergone dramatic changes in recent years. Democratization has made the country more resilient to external challenges, he said, expressing his belief that democracy will endure in Armenia and that it can substantially contribute to peace and stability.

On the sidelines of the Autumn Meeting, the OSCE PA’s Parliamentary Support Team for Ukraine (PSTU) met today for talks on the Russian Federation’s ongoing war against Ukraine, featuring discussions on security, economic and environmental, and human dimensions of the war led by the PSTU’s three rapporteurs. President Kauma delivered opening remarks focused on the human costs of the war, including the tens of thousands of civilian casualties and millions of refugees. She advocated a just peace based on respect for Ukraine’s sovereignty and territorial integrity.

The PSTU meeting also featured a presentation by Ambassador Marcel Pesko, Special Representative of the OSCE Chairman-in-Office / Project Co-ordinator in Ukraine, who described the efforts of the OSCE to keep Ukraine at the forefront of international attention, and to use all the tools of the organization to strengthen Ukraine’s resilience in the face of the war and hold Russia accountable. Through the Support Programme for Ukraine, he said, the OSCE is focusing on issues such as addressing the impact of landmines, strengthening Ukrainian institutions, and helping Ukraine move forward with its reform agenda.

Earlier in the day, the PA’s Standing Committee met to hear reports by the OSCE PA President, Treasurer, Secretary General, and Chairs of Ad Hoc Committees.

The Autumn Meeting continues through Monday with two more sessions of the Parliamentary Conference and a meeting of the Mediterranean Forum. All sessions are livestreaming at

For photos of the meeting, please visit the OSCE PA’s Flickr page.

More information about the Autumn Meeting is available here.



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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