CHAPTER II

ECONOMIC AFFAIRS, SCIENCE, TECHNOLOGY AND ENVIRONMENT

    1. Welcoming the OSCE's Helsinki +40 process as an opportunity to reinforce, as well as update, OSCE commitments, particularly in the economic and environmental dimension,
    2. Recognizing the importance of water, energy and food issues, and their significant implications for security and stability within States as well as across borders,
    3. Mindful of the role that the OSCE has to play in promoting the rational use of, and in establishing synergies between, water, energy and food resources from a stability and security perspective,
    4. Commending the OSCE for its work in facilitating the negotiations between participating States on bilateral agreements on water resource management,
    5. Concerned by the challenges that States face in ensuring that food and water are available to their citizens,
    6. Recalling the massive devastation brought to the Philippines by Typhoon Haiyan, which offered a tragic reminder of how critical the global climate change situation is,
    7. Noting the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC)'s report released on 26 September 2013, in which IPCC scientists concluded with a 95 per cent certainty that humans are the dominant cause of global warming and that atmospheric carbon dioxide is higher than it has been for at least 800,000 years,
    8. Reiterating the need to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and to adapt to a changing climate,
    9. Pointing out that greenhouse gas emissions vary considerably in different food production systems, with emissions much higher in meat and dairy production,
    10. Noting that changing climatic conditions will affect crop growth and livestock performance, the availability of water, fisheries and aquaculture yields, mountains, forests, biodiversity, the number of natural disasters and the functioning of ecosystems throughout the OSCE region,
    11. Regretting the lack of progress on key issues of reducing CO2 emissions and financial help for countries most affected by climate change at the 19th Conference of the Parties (COP 19) of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change,
    12. Noting the importance of the transition to the use of new and renewable energy sources and advanced environmentally clean "green" technologies in order to address more effectively the challenges posed by environmental pollution and climate change,
    13. Restating the OSCE PA Istanbul Declaration's recognition that environmental challenges such as climate change require world leaders to make compromises at the international level, and in this regard the Helsinki +40 process can serve as a powerful inspiration for co operation,
    14. Commending progress in the OSCE's work relating to good governance, and stressing the need, in the context of Helsinki +40, for the political momentum gained by the adoption of the Dublin Ministerial Council's Declaration on Strengthening Good Governance and Combating Corruption, Money Laundering and the Financing of Terrorism, to be further enhanced and to be reflected in the participating States' implementation of their relevant commitments,
    15. Recalling that the main cause of the ongoing economic recession was the poor governance of national and international financial institutions,
    16. Recognizing the adverse effects of growing inequality in developed economies resulting from the global financial crisis and unilateral austerity policies, and stressing the urgent need for States to uphold social cohesion while striving to achieve sustainable growth,
    17. Stressing the importance of women's economic empowerment,
    18. Recognizing that governments, international and financial institutions should be encouraged to support the sustainable development in mountainous regions, as they are most vulnerable to climate change, which leads to an increase in the number of natural disasters, melting glaciers and a reduction of water resources, which in turn lead to increased tension in the cross-border use of water resources,
    19. Noting the potential that investment in science and technology plays in promoting economic growth for nations and improved employment and living standards for individuals,
    20. Aware that economic and environmental migration can provide opportunities for people to improve their lives while building the economies of countries that receive them, but that unplanned and excessive population movements can cause tension and adversely affect the provision of public services,
    21. Noting that water scarcity and food insecurity in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region, combined with demographic pressures, high unemployment and poverty, constitute major sources of existing and/or potential tensions with a multiplying impact on the various security challenges within and beyond this region,
    22. Pointing out that economic migration, particularly from North Africa, has placed a great burden on Southern European States and has also resulted in the tragic loss of a large number of lives, as vessels used for this activity are often unseaworthy,
    23. Recognizing that trade is often disrupted by man-made and natural disasters and that borders need to be secure, robust and resilient to enable trade to continue during periods of heightened threats and alerts,
    24. Asserting that providing all persons with disabilities with equal opportunities and expanded access to life in society, as advanced by the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities as well as existing OSCE commitments will contribute to the economic self-sufficiency of such persons, economic growth in the participating States and economic co operation between them,
    25. Noting that the full potential of women is still not fully utilized in the economy, and stressing the potential benefits it would bring for women's independence as well as for the economic development of participating States,
    26. Stressing the essential role that trade unions play in representation, negotiation and resolution,

The OSCE Parliamentary Assembly:

    1. Calls for nations to ensure that trade unions can operate in a supportive legal context to ensure that they play a full part in promoting prosperity;
    2. Calls on the OSCE Co-ordinator for Economic and Environmental Affairs to establish a co-operative mechanism or centre in the OSCE region to serve as a clearing house for best practices in counter-corruption and to facilitate exchanges to promote good governance;
    3. Urges the OSCE to work with Southern European countries and our partners in North Africa to protect migrants and provide facilities for them after their arrival in Europe;
    4. Urges participating States to ensure the legal recognition of women's property rights;
    5. Calls upon OSCE participating States to adopt regulations that limit risk-based speculation and enable financial bodies to provide capital for investment to stimulate national economies through improvements in infrastructure and long-term projects;
    6. Stresses the urgent need for modest recovery to be reflected in curbing unemployment, particularly among young people, by means of dynamic and comprehensive job generating policies, which should aim at further developing infrastructure and investments in pro-growth sectors, encouraging entrepreneurs, knowledge and innovation, boosting domestic demand and providing adequate training to facilitate the transition from education to the labour market;
    7. Calls upon participating States to provide greater support to small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) by means of a more business-friendly environment that promotes entrepreneurship, innovation and employment, reduces regulatory and administrative obstacles and facilitates SMEs' networking and access to domestic and global markets, and stresses the need to ensure that SMEs' central role and prospects for realizing their full potential in the global economy are appropriately reflected in States' growth policies;
    8. Urges participating States to encourage young people to pursue careers in agriculture, for example by facilitating transnational courses in agricultural science;
    9. Calls for more research on crop and animal production, investments in science and technology and the adoption of fiscal policies that encourage private companies to invest in research and development;
    10. Urges the OSCE to help co-ordinate national governments in moving away from budget cuts into solid investments to provide a foundation for the sound improvement of the global economy;
    11. Encourages the OSCE to facilitate technology and knowledge transfers with a view towards improving the way people produce and consume, as well as promoting best practices in agricultural and fisheries production;
    12. Endorses a multidimensional approach to food and water security, including all those areas of science and technology that can have a valuable impact;
    13. Stresses the need for the OSCE to play an enhanced role in efforts to achieve global energy security, by means of a level playing field across the entire spectrum of energy-related activities, in strict compliance with international law and the rule of law enshrined in the Helsinki Final Act and the Energy Charter Treaty;
    14. Calls on the OSCE participating States to improve and develop the practice of treatment, recycling and reuse of water resources;
    15. Expresses concern over the use of certain types of energy extraction, particularly hydraulic fracturing or "fracking", that are known to have an adverse effect on water supplies;
    16. Strongly urges the OSCE participating States to strengthen co ordination actions aimed at early warning of natural disasters in mountain ecosystems with the help of technical, biological and organizational measures;
    17. Endorses inter-State scientific and technical co-operation, including innovative programmes of the OSCE participating States aimed at ensuring the sustainable development of mountain ecosystems;
    18. Calls on the OSCE and its participating States to reduce waste by increasing the efficiency of the production, processing, transport and storage of products and to educate consumers on how to reduce waste through smarter purchasing choices;
    19. Encourages the OSCE and its participating States to work on migration management to increase the benefits of migration while reducing its potential negative implications;
    20. Calls upon OSCE participating States to continue to work towards a new universal climate agreement so that it appears on the table at the next UN climate change conference in Peru, ahead of final agreement in Paris, in 2015;
    21. Calls for the OSCE field operations to receive all the funding they need in order to carry out their vital work in the economic and environmental dimension, especially in mountainous countries, which are the ones most vulnerable to climate change;
    22. Urges those participating States that have not already done so to sign, ratify and implement the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities and to implement their existing OSCE commitments to ensure the protection of the rights of such persons, especially with regard to the promotion of services and training as well as favourable conditions for participating in competitive integrated employment and access to public buildings and services, housing, transport, and cultural and recreational activities;
    23. Encourages intensified efforts to prohibit discrimination against disabled persons in employment and the workplace;
    24. Reiterates the central importance of the economic and environmental dimension in the Helsinki +40 process;
    25. Calls on European Union Member States to engage further in migration management and to ensure that the contribution and burden of migrants on the European continent is shared equally among Member States;
    26. Urges the participating States to continue working for women's opportunities to become financially independent and have their own income and to support possibilities for women to start new businesses.