HELSINKI +40: Towards Human Security For All



    1. Recalling the historic role of the Helsinki Final Act signed in 1975, which contains key commitments on politico-military, economic, environmental, human rights and humanitarian issues and which established fundamental principles governing the behaviour of States towards their citizens and each other,
    2. Also recalling the Charter of Paris for a New Europe adopted in 1990, which led to its acquiring permanent institutions and operational capabilities, including the Parliamentary Assembly of the OSCE,
    3. Reconfirming the Organization’s comprehensive approach to security based on trust and transparency in the politico-military field, committed to by the participating States, and confirmed by the OSCE Istanbul Summit in 1999 and the Astana Summit in 2010,
    4. Stressing the continuing need for enhanced efforts to settle existing conflicts in the OSCE area in a peaceful and negotiated manner, in full respect of the United Nations Charter and the Helsinki Final Act, and refraining from the threat or use of force, as called for at the Astana Summit Meeting held in 2010,
    5. Welcoming the Declaration on furthering the Helsinki +40 process adopted at the Ministerial Council in December 2013 in Kyiv, which reaffirmed the efforts by all participating States to provide strong and continuous political impetus to advancing the work towards realizing the vision of a security community and reaffirmed the commitment by all participating States to the concept of comprehensive, co-operative, equal and indivisible security,
    6. Stressing the importance of continuing the ongoing negotiations to update and modernize the Vienna Document on Confidence- and Security-Building Measures in order to increase openness, transparency and predictability in the military sphere, and referring to the resolutions of the Parliamentary Assembly of the OSCE underlining the need to proceed with this work,
    7. Noting the OSCE’s significant input in non-proliferation efforts to implement United Nations Security Council resolution 1540,
    8. Expressing grave concern about the situation in Ukraine, and emphasizing the role of the OSCE in engaging all parties in a constructive dialogue, monitoring and supporting the implementation of all OSCE principles and commitments on the ground, preventing further escalation of the crisis and promoting a diplomatic process towards a peaceful resolution to the crisis,
    9. Expressing concern about the deficit of democratic political institutions and lack of democratic progress in the Republic of Belarus,
    10. Recalling the need to increase the representation of women throughout the OSCE, particularly in the politico-military dimension,
    11. Welcoming efforts by the OSCE participating States and the Secretariat to hold bilateral and multilateral negotiations in order to resolve conflicts that threaten the security of the OSCE region,

The OSCE Parliamentary Assembly:

    1. Stresses the importance of adapting the arrangements for conventional arms control and confidence- and security-building measures to today’s politico-military reality, building upon the existing foundation of the Treaty on Conventional Armed Forces in Europe, the Treaty on Open Skies and the Vienna Document as well as the Code of Conduct on Politico-Military Aspects of Security;
    2. Notes the military escalation in the Arctic region in recent years and the substantial progress made in strengthening Arctic co‑operation;
    3. Calls for strong commitment to the Vienna Document, adopted in 1990 and updated several times, which is one of the most important politically binding documents of the politico-military dimension of the OSCE, building upon the 1975 Helsinki Final Act’s provisions for early notification of military exercises that involve a certain number of military personnel;
    4. Supports the requests made by a number of participating States on three occasions in April 2014 to activate the risk reduction mechanism under paragraph 16 of the Vienna Document to dispel serious security concerns caused by the significant military activities of the Russian Federation along the State border with Ukraine, and strongly encourages the Russian Federation to engage in a dialogue within the framework of the Joint FSC-PC meetings and to co-operate in a responsible manner and in good faith on the basis of its OSCE politico-military commitments;
    5. Stresses the high relevance of fundamental principles and norms of international law and human rights law, as enshrined in the Code of Conduct on Politico-Military Aspects of Security, which should govern inter-State relations as well as politico-military conduct within States, notably the democratic oversight of armed and security forces, in efforts to achieve greater transparency and trust within and beyond the OSCE area;
    6. Expresses its support for the next Annual Implementation Discussion on updating and modernizing the Vienna Document on Confidence- and Security-Building Measures to take place in July 2014 with a view to increasing the predictability, openness and transparency in the exchange of information annually on their armed forces concerning the military organisation by increasing opportunities for verification activity, strengthening risk reduction mechanisms, and enlarging the scope of confidence and security-building measures;
    7. Recalls the need to consider the more than 20 VD Plus proposals when updating the Vienna Document, covering the expansion of information exchange on military matters, the notification for military exercises, maritime arms control procedures, monitoring of rapid deployment forces and large force transfers, and the improvement of the effectiveness of inspections and evaluation visits;
    8. Encourages the signing of new bilateral agreements and the strengthening of existing ones on additional confidence-building measures in the spirit of Chapter X of the Vienna Document, which will help to improve predictability, transparency and stability at the regional and subregional levels;
    9. Acknowledges the vital role of military inspections under the Vienna Document, which serve to build confidence and allow for rapid observation of military activities of concern in the OSCE region;
    10. Encourages participating States to adopt an appropriate legislative basis for the democratic control of the armed forces, in accordance with the principles of constitutionality, legality and accountability, including to ensure that armed forces are not used against civilians and welcomes the recent amendments made by Georgia to strengthen the oversight power of the Parliament of Georgia over the armed forces of Georgia and the signing of co‑operation memorandums between the Defence and Security Committee of the Parliament of Georgia and civil society organizations working in the area of defence and security;
    11. Stresses the need to balance between new threats, like cyber warfare and terrorism, and the prospect of conventional military operations, when updating and developing the Vienna Document, noting that, since the adoption of the Treaty on Conventional Armed Forces in Europe, the number of units of Treaty-Limited Equipment has been reduced by more than 110,000, indicating the importance of traditional arms control mechanisms;
    12. Welcomes the adoption of the “Initial set of OSCE confidence‑building measures to reduce the risks of conflict stemming from the use of information and communication technologies” and supports the work of the Informal Working Group established pursuant to Permanent Council Decision No. 1039;
    13. Acknowledges the need to take into account the development of technology and tactics when updating current treaties, reflecting the increasing emphasis on brigade-level operations and the need for a comprehensive assessment of military capabilities and the development of indicators that focus on quality and performance rather than quantity alone;
    14. Stresses the high significance of the Arms Trade Treaty (ATT) adopted by the UN General Assembly in April 2013 in global efforts in the field of arms control to achieve a security community, and encourages OSCE participating States to proceed with its ratification so that the ATT can enter into force soon;
    15. Also stresses the importance of OSCE documents on small arms and light weapons (SALW) and stockpiles of conventional ammunition, and the complementary decisions of the OSCE Forum for Security Co-operation, in the fight against the illicit trade in SALW and conventional ammunition, and calls on the participating States to ensure the effective implementation of these documents with a view to combating the illicit trade in SALW and conventional ammunition;
    16. Supports the activities of the OSCE in assisting with the collection and destruction of conventional ammunition as well as improving the control and security of their stockpiles, and suggests that the participating States should continue to turn to the OSCE for assistance on questions relating to SALW and conventional ammunition;
    17. Calls for measures limiting, prohibiting and controlling the illegal trade of small arms and light weapons (SALW), including their diversion to non-State actors in conflict areas, as well as the uncontrolled circulation and misuse of these arms in non-conflict situations, which pose multiple threats to societies and contribute to numerous casualties every year, including among civilians;
    18. Calls upon participating States to observe their international commitments and to further strengthen OSCE norms and activities in the field of SALW and Stockpiles of Conventional Ammunition (SCA), and stresses the essential role of parliaments and the OSCE Parliamentary Assembly in promoting subregional, regional and international co-operation on achieving these goals;
    19. Calls for an updated assessment on whether current rules of warfare are up-to-date when taking into account new weapons systems that have been deployed in the past few years;
    20. Reconfirms that addressing protracted conflicts in the OSCE area and seeking to achieve progress towards their resolution in a peaceful and negotiated manner, within agreed frameworks, while fully respecting the United Nations Charter, the Helsinki Final Act and international law, is a priority for the Organization;
    21. Acknowledges the role of women in the prevention and resolution of conflicts, and urges compliance with United Nations Security Council resolution 1325, which aims to increase equal participation of women including full involvement in all efforts for the maintenance and promotion of peace and security;
    22. Also acknowledges that the geopolitical situation in different parts of the OSCE area varies widely and that any action taken by the OSCE with the goal of increasing security should accurately take into account local conditions and specific situations in order to find long-term solutions that can be agreed upon by all parties;
    23. Urges parliamentarians to support women’s public and political involvement by raising public awareness of the importance of gender equality and establishing political networks to encourage women´s leadership in the OSCE;
    24. Acknowledges the role and participation of local and regional authorities in the lasting settlement of conflicts and post-conflict rehabilitation scenarios;
    25. Calls on the Russian Federation to fulfil the commitments entered into under the 12 August 2008 ceasefire agreement to de-occupy the Georgian territory and to respect the fundamental principles of international law;
    26. Welcomes the active engagement of the Swiss OSCE Chairmanship in the crisis in and around Ukraine and the deployment of the Special Monitoring Mission to Ukraine as well as the activities of the OSCE executive structures and other relevant international actors operating in Ukraine with the aim of reducing tensions, fostering stability and promoting national dialogue;
    27. Calls for the creation, on the platform of the OSCE Parliamentary Assembly, of an interparliamentary liaison group on Ukraine in order to de-escalate the situation on the ground and support the country out of the crisis;
    28. Underlines the respect for the principles of the inviolability of frontiers and territorial integrity, peaceful settlement of disputes, equal rights and self-determination of peoples, as stated in the Helsinki Final Act and calls on the Russian Federation to reverse the annexation of the Autonomous Republic of Crimea and the city of Sevastopol, Ukraine;
    29. Calls for a strong and better regulated legal framework for national referendums to avoid their misuse, taking into account national constitutions and relevant international standards;
    30. Reaffirms the right of citizens of participating States to hold referendums under their national legislation and in conformity with international standards;
    31. Urges participating States to closely monitor the military presence in the Arctic region, be aware of the potential security and environmental risk that it constitutes and continue to strive for a zone of peace and stability in the Arctic;
    32. Expresses its support for the ongoing process of peaceful integration in Europe, which includes co-operation in transnational organisations, increased freedom of movement for people and goods and strengthening economic ties which will increase stability and security in Europe and beyond;
    33. Reaffirms the need to continue to work towards a solution to the crisis in Syria, where violence and human rights abuses continue amidst a humanitarian crisis and manifestations of international terrorism, and strongly urges all parties to commit to a peaceful resolution of the crisis and the establishment of a truly democratic state where the rights and security of all ethnic and religious groups are protected equally;
    34. Calls upon OSCE participating States to prevent the use of their territories by terrorist and fundamentalist groups for cross‑border attacks against civilian populations, including religious and ethnic minorities in Syria;
    35. Welcomes the approaching 40th anniversary of the Helsinki Final Act and the opportunity to strengthen the role of the OSCE in increasing security, openness and transparency and moving forward in the Helsinki +40 process;
    36. Calls for the creation of a new system of arbitration within the OSCE Parliamentary Assembly in order to enhance co-operation and to prevent situations where participating States have different interpretations of the meaning and detail of current documents.