The 24th Annual Session of the OSCE Parliamentary Assembly brought together nearly 300 parliamentarians in the Finnish capital's Finlandia Hall on 5-9 July 2015. The theme for the Session was "Recalling the Spirit of Helsinki," a reference to the OSCE's founding document, the Helsinki Final Act, which was signed in Finlandia Hall in 1975.
The situation in and around Ukraine, the crisis concerning migrants and refugees, arms control, climate change and minority rights were among a diverse array of critical security issues on the agenda. The Session also featured a special commemoration of the Helsinki Final Act's 40th anniversary and a presentation of the results of the PA's Helsinki +40 Project on Organizational reform.
The 23rd Annual Session of the OSCE Parliamentary Assembly was held at the Fairmont Hotel Congress Centre in Baku, Azerbaijan from 28 June to 2 July 2014 under the theme "Helsinki +40: Towards Human Security for All."
Hosted by the Milli Mejlis (Parliament) of Azerbaijan, the Session was attended by nearly 300 MPs from more than 50 OSCE participating States.
Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev, Swiss President and OSCE Chairperson-in-Office Didier Burkhalter, Russian State Duma Chair Sergey Naryshkin and Ukrainian Verkhovna Rada Deputy Chair Ruslan Koshulynskyi all spoke at opening-day plenaries on Saturday, 28 June.
The 22nd Annual Session of the OSCE Parliamentary Assembly was held in Istanbul, Turkey from 29 June to 3 July 2013.
The Turkish Grand National Assembly hosted the annual gathering, which took place at the Lutfi Kirdar International Convention and Exhibition Center in Istanbul.
The session's Helsinki +40 theme underlined the Assembly's support for the OSCE Ministerial Council decision in Dublin to launch a set of objectives aimed at strengthening the OSCE towards 2015, the 40th anniversary of the Helsinki Final Act.
The debates and votes of the Assembly during the session culminated in passage of the 2013 Istanbul Declaration to help shape OSCE and national policy. Members from 57 OSCE participating States also elected Montenegrin Speaker of Parliament Ranko Krivokapic as its new Assembly president, as well as six new vice-presidents, nine committee officers and re-elected Roberto Battelli (Slovenia) as treasurer.
The Parliament of the Principality of Monaco hosted the 21st Annual Session of the OSCE Parliamentary Assembly from 5 to 9 July 2012, under the theme "The OSCE: Region of Change."
The session ended with the adoption of the Monaco Declaration and Resolutions and the election of the Bureau, including a new President, Riccardo Migliori (Italy).
The 20th Annual Session of the OSCE Parliamentary Assembly was held from 6 to 10 July 2011 in Belgrade, Serbia, under the general theme of "Strengthening the OSCE's Effectiveness and Efficiency -- A new start after the Astana Summit." It concluded with the elections of Assembly Officers and the adoption of the Belgrade Declaration, available in all six official langauges.
More than 230 parliamentarians from 53 countries voted on 10 July to pass the Belgrade Declaration, a political document filled with recommendations for national parliaments and the Organization for Security and Co-operation Europe on economic, security and human rights issues. The document contains resolutions on issues including human rights in Belarus, cyber security, human trafficking, hunger, internet freedom, nuclear safety and organ trafficking.
“This Belgrade Declaration should remind us all that the best days of the OSCE are ahead of us,” said President Petros Efthymiou (Greece). “Since our beginning our region has constantly changed, and now it is imperative for the OSCE to change as well. We look forward to governments, parliaments and the OSCE implementing these recommendations.”