2003 AS Rotterdam bigThe 12th Annual Session, held from 5 to 9 July 2003 in Rotterdam, concluded with the adoption of the Rotterdam Declaration focused on the Session’s theme, ‘The Role of the OSCE in the New Architecture of Europe’. The Declaration stated that with Europe’s ongoing development in security structures, the OSCE’s real strength lies in its capacity to respond to security threats and challenges and in its strong field presence. To uphold the credibility of the OSCE, it added, it is imperative to provide the OSCE field activities with adequate funding and high-quality staff.

The Assembly, the Declaration said, recommended that the OSCE Permanent Council be requested to consult the PA prior to making a decision to terminate any OSCE field activity.

The Rotterdam Declaration stresses that the further enhancement of the economic and environmental dimension of the OSCE, as an integral part of its comprehensive security approach, is an essential prerequisite for the OSCE’s substantial contribution to the new European security architecture.

The Declaration also suggested that the OSCE should adopt a more balanced regional approach to promoting the implementation of the participating States’ human dimension commitments, and take into account the differences between countries and regions, without neglecting any of them. In this regard, the Declaration suggested that the mandate and resources of the High Commissioner on National Minorities be strengthened.

The Assembly also adopted a resolution on the parliamentary follow-up of OSCE Activities at the National Level. National Parliaments were encouraged to introduce practices whereby annual reports on the activities of the OSCE PA by national OSCE PA delegations are regularly debated in an appropriate manner in national parliaments.

In addition, the Assembly adopted supplementary resolutions on Combating Anti-Semitism, the International Criminal Court, prisoners at the American detention facility in Guantanamo Bay, Belarus, Moldova and on Combating Trafficking in Human Beings.