AS-2008-AstanaThe OSCE Parliamentary Assembly held its 17th Annual Session in Astana, Kazakhstan from 29 June - 3 July 2008. Focusing on the theme of 'Transparency in the OSCE,' the meetings brought together 227 parliamentarians in the Kazakh capital, who debated issues ranging from water management to cyber security to migration.

The Assembly met in two separate plenary sessions, which were addressed by senior officials, including Kazakh President Nursultan Nazarbayev, OSCE PA President Goran Lennmarker, and the OSCE Chairman-in-Office, Finnish Foreign Minister Alexander Stubb. For three days, the Assembly’s three General Committees met to discuss current issues and to consider and amend draft resolutions.

2007 AS Kyiv bigThe OSCE Parliamentary Assembly held its 16th Annual Session in Kyiv from 5-9 July 2007. Hosted by the Ukrainian Parliament, the Session focused attention on the theme: ‘Implementation of OSCE Commitments’. The meetings brought together 250 parliamentarians in the Ukrainian capital, coming from 54 countries across the OSCE and beyond. The Assembly met in two separate plenary sessions, which were addressed by senior officials, including Ukrainian President Victor Yushchenko, OSCE PA President Goran Lennmarker, and the OSCE Chairman-in-Office, Spanish Foreign Minister Miguel Angel Moratinos.

From 6 to 8 July, the Assembly’s three General Committees met to discuss current issues within their fields of work and to consider and amend draft resolutions. The Standing Committee of Heads of Delegations also met to consider and approve a budget for the coming fiscal year and to hear reports on recent work of the Assembly. On the final day of the Session, the Assembly met to consider all of the resolutions. This document, the Kyiv Declaration, represents the collective voice of OSCE parliamentarians and is distributed to the governments of all OSCE countries for consideration.

2006 AS Brussels bigAt the close of its 15th Annual Session, held from 3 to 7 July 2006, the OSCE PA elected Goran Lennmarker of Sweden as its new President, succeeding Alcee L. Hastings of the United States. Parliamentarians from across the OSCE and beyond took part in the Session, and adopted the Brussels Declaration focused on: ‘Strengthening Human Security in the OSCE Region’.

In the Declaration, parliamentarians issue both political and technical recommendations on a range of issues. Specifically, the Declaration calls for increased support for OSCE field missions, with a particular focus on the Balkan region, and closer co-operation with other international organizations in this field. The Parliamentarians also placed particular emphasis on the security of energy sources. They called for increased dialogue between states to ensure reliable supplies of energy. The Assembly also stressed the importance of effective parliamentary oversight of security services.

2005 AS Washington bigFollowing meetings from 1-5 July 2005, the Assembly adopted the Washington Declaration focusing on the political, economic and human rights aspects of the central theme of the Session, ‘30 Years Since Helsinki: Challenges Ahead’. The Declaration reiterates the fundamental principles endorsed by the Helsinki Final Act, the Charter of Paris, and other OSCE agreements.

In the Washington Declaration, the Assembly passed recommendations on a range of political issues, including increasing information exchanges with non-OSCE States on trafficking and upgrading the status of the OSCE’s Forum for Security Co-operation. In the field of economic development, particular emphasis was placed on assisting in the development of small entrepreneurship and increasing the role of women and ethnic minorities in scientific, legal and commercial spheres. The importance of respecting human rights commitments was also emphasised, including voting rights. In this context, the Assembly recalled the obligation of participating States to allow international OSCE observers of election procedures.

2004 AS Edinburgh bigAt the close of their meeting in Edinburgh from 5-9 July 2004, more than 300 parliamentarians from 52 OSCE participating States adopted the Edinburgh Declaration focusing on the political, economic and human rights aspects of the central theme of the Session: ‘Co-operation and Partnership: Coping with new Security Threats.’ The Edinburgh Declaration recognized that terrorism, as a rule, targets civilian populations, and has as its central objective to cause instability and fear, and even incite racism and xenophobia.

The Assembly condemned terrorism in all forms and manifestations and called upon the international community to target the profound political, social, economic and environmental causes of terrorism and to ensure that the fight against terrorism be carried out in compliance with the principles of the UN Charter and international law, including human rights and refugee protection law.