RESOLUTION ON

HELSINKI +40: BUILDING THE OSCE OF THE FUTURE

    1. Recalling the fundamental importance of the Decalogue of Principles of the 1975 Helsinki Final Act for today’s security architecture, and recognizing that the future of the OSCE depends on the ability of the Organization to listen to and deal with the concerns of its participating States, regardless of their size,

    2. Reiterating that the Helsinki Final Act is a testament to what is possible when States make a concerted effort to set aside differences and strive for common understanding, and reaffirming that political will and steadfast commitment to dialogue, trust and compromise must remain the bedrock of the Organization,

    3. Deeply concerned that the 40th Anniversary of the OSCE has been marked by the crisis in and around Ukraine, which, while temporarily increasing the visibility of the OSCE, highlighted its ineffectiveness due to a lack of tools, mandate and dysfunctional decision-making procedures,

    4. Emphasizing that the OSCE should use the 40th anniversary of its Helsinki Final Act as an opportunity to adopt concrete lines of action for the Organization to stay effective, efficient and relevant in the next decade, primarily through readjustment of its decision-making process,

    5. Stressing the democratic legitimacy of the OSCE PA by definition and the need for its high relevance and potential in parliamentary diplomacy, within and beyond the Helsinki +40 context, to be reflected in its unequivocal recognition as an integral and full-fledged OSCE structure, in conformity with the spirit and letter of the Charter of Paris,

    6. Acknowledging the contribution of the OSCE PA to the development of such reform proposals, notably through its multiyear Helsinki +40 Project, designed as a series of seminars bringing together politicians, experts and diplomats, building upon previously adopted resolutions and the 2005 Washington Colloquium Report, and recognizing the upcoming 25th Anniversary of the OSCE PA,

    7. Taking note of the OSCE governmental side’s parallel Helsinki +40 processes, such as the Informal Helsinki+40 Working Group in Vienna and the Panel of Eminent Persons on European Security as a Common Project, and believing that a self-critical organization is a healthy organization,

    8. Regretting the continuing lack of international legal personality of the OSCE, which creates serious challenges for the whole organization on the operational level, most notably in the field and in crisis situations, as in Ukraine, and restating the PA’s commitment to support the Organization in resolving this issue,

    9. Reaffirming all OSCE commitments on gender equality, including the commitment of participating States to respect human rights and fundamental freedoms for all without distinction as to race, sex, language or religion as enshrined in the Helsinki Final Act and the Ministerial Council Decisions on the 2004 OSCE Action Plan for the Promotion of Gender Equality,

The OSCE Parliamentary Assembly:

    1. Urges the participating States to reaffirm, in a Ministerial Council Declaration, the significance of, and their respect for, all ten principles of the Helsinki Final Act and to make a concerted political effort to overcome the dividing lines between participating States;

    2. Calls for public identification of those States which are not abiding by the Helsinki commitments and identification of concrete mechanisms for putting into practice the commitments undertaken, possibly through the development of a binding code of conduct for the OSCE participating States in the most problematic areas;

    3. Strongly recommends increasing the transparency of the OSCE decision-making process by opening the proceedings of the Permanent Council to the press, including through live streaming on the Internet;

    4. Stresses the need for intensified co-operation between the OSCE PA and the OSCE executive structures, as per the commitment undertaken at the Astana Summit towards a Security Community and as a key element in the OSCE’s reform efforts towards its greater effectiveness; points out the significance of the OSCE PA’s further enhancing its influence and visibility across the Conflict Cycle, including by upgrading its mediation role and, eventually, by organizing fact-finding missions, upon the invitation of the parties concerned, and commits to best contribute to the OSCE’s reform efforts by seeing to the continuous improvement of its work and functioning;

    5. Calls on the OSCE PA and the OSCE/ODIHR, in the best interests of the overall Organization, to work co-operatively during election observation missions as one “OSCE election observation mission” using one OSCE logo and under the overall leadership of the Special Co-ordinator, as intended by the 1997 Co-operation Agreement endorsed by the 2006 Brussels Ministerial Council Decision on Strengthening the Effectiveness of the OSCE;

    6. Stresses the importance of the commitment to uphold democratic election standards, both east and west of Vienna;

    7. Calls for an increased role of the OSCE parliamentary dimension in the work and decision making process of the Organization, taking into consideration best practices developed in the Council of Europe, including through the election by the OSCE PA of the OSCE Secretary General, decisions on the admission of new participating States and oversight over and approval of the Organization’s budget;

    8. Calls for better co-ordination, engagement and information-sharing between the Secretariat in Vienna, other OSCE Institutions and the OSCE Parliamentary Assembly’s International Secretariat, possibly through the development of an annual strategic plan of action for mutual strengthening;

    9. Urges greater involvement of the parliamentary dimension in conflict prevention, resolution and mediation of the OSCE, which can benefit from its parliamentarians’ unique political expertise and leverage;

    10. Calls for the establishment of a Best Practices Unit to provide the OSCE with a permanent lessons-learned capability, as well as for the development of a permanent Civilian Rapid Reaction Capability to be deployed in times of crisis to supplement the work of field missions;

    11. Underlines the importance of supporting the OSCE presence in the field through adequate funding, qualified human resources and multi-year mandate attribution;

    12. Calls for the reopening of OSCE field presences in Georgia and Belarus, as well as curbing the trend of restricting mandates of presences, such as in Azerbaijan and Kazakhstan;

    13. Calls for greater ministerial consideration of the topic of legal personality, while underlining the importance of correct codification of the PA’s role, status and involvement in the OSCE’s work as one of the OSCE Institutions;

    14. Calls on participating States to ensure that the Helsinki +40 process and its outcomes integrate a gender perspective and reaffirm a commitment to gender equality, which is essential to peace, sustainable democracy, economic development, inclusive dialogue, and therefore, to security and stability in the OSCE region;

    15. Recommends that the Organization consider sharing the “spirit of Helsinki” with other parts of the world, notably East Asia, where there is strong interest in the OSCE’s heritage, lessons learned and legacy;

    16. Urges the OSCE Chairmanship to place before the Permanent Council the Helsinki +40 Report and this Resolution for consideration and discussion, including with representatives of the OSCE PA.