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1995 AS Ottawa bigThe Fourth Annual Session of the Assembly, hosted by the Canadian Parliament in Ottawa on 4-8 July 1995, was the first Annual Session to be held in North America. The Ottawa Declaration encompassed a series of resolutions and recommendations relating to OSCE activities regarding the Former Yugoslavia, the Baltic region, Nagorno-Karabakh, Chechnya and Moldova.

The Assembly stressed the need for strengthening the role and Institutions of the OSCE and called for the development of criteria that would allow for the suspension of a participating State if there has been a “flagrant failure to implement OSCE decisions and commitments.” The Ottawa Declaration urged the OSCE and its participating States to actively explore decision-making procedures based on an approximate consensus.

The Assembly furthermore called upon participating States to ensure that equal rights are given to all individuals as citizens rather than as members of a particular national or ethnic group. It emphasized that all persons must be accorded equal consideration and respect in administrative and legislative decisions. The Assembly also strongly supported the establishment of an international criminal court which could hold accused war criminals accountable for their actions on the basis of international conventions and other humanitarian laws.

The Ottawa Declaration also urged the OSCE to give priority to organizing election monitoring exercises through the OSCE Parliamentary Assembly.