Under the general theme of “Rule of Law: Combating Transnational Crime and Corruption,” the OSCE PA’s 19th Annual Session took place from 6 to 10 July in Oslo. Hosted by the Parliament of Norway, the Storting, the Annual Session debated resolutions dealing with various dimensions of the theme, as well as 35 supplementary items covering a wide range of topics. Around 250 parliamentarians participated in the meeting.
At the closing plenary, the Assembly adopted the Oslo Declaration containing resolutions ranging from issues such as the situation in Kyrgyzstan to the Parliamentary Assembly’s involvement in the Corfu process, the peace process in the Middle East, nuclear security, cybercrime, the situation in the Arctic, the right of return of internally displaced persons, investigative journalism, and the death penalty.
The Session ended with the election of Petros Efthymiou (Greece) as the Assembly’s new President. Mr. Efthymiou, a former Vice-President of the Assembly, succeeds Joao Soares (Portugal) who had served as President for two one-year terms. The Assembly also elected three new Vice-Presidents: Riccardo Migliori (Italy), Alexander Kozlovskiy (Russia) and Oleh Bilorus (Ukraine), while Isabel Pozuelo (Spain) was re-elected.
The three General Committees of the Assembly also elected new officers for the coming year. In the General Committee on Political Affairs and Security, Karl-Georg Wellmann (Germany) was elected Chair, Canan Kalsin was elected Vice-Chair and Tonino Picula (Croatia), Rapporteur.
In the General Committee on Economic Affairs, Science, Technology and Environment, Roland Blum (France) Ivor Callely (Ireland) and Serhiy Shevchuk (Ukraine) were all re-elected, and in the General Committee on Democracy, Human Rights and Humanitarian Questions, Walburga Habsburg Douglas (Sweden), Robert Aderholt (United States), and Matteo Mecacci (Italy) were all re-elected.
At the Assembly’s Standing Committee meeting on 6 July, OSCE PA Secretary General R. Spencer Oliver was re-appointed for another five-year term with over 95 per cent of the vote. The Standing Committee, which consists of the Assembly’s 55 Heads of Delegation and Members of the Bureau, also froze and adopted the 2010-2011 Fiscal Year Budget in a unanimous vote.