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AM 2011 Dubrovnik bigMore than 200 parliamentarians from across the 56-country OSCE region met in Dubrovnik on 7-10 October to discuss progress in South East Europe, co-operation in the Mediterranean region, and heard a special presentation from Chairs of the OSCE Minsk Group on OSCE conflict resolution. The OSCE PA's Tenth Fall Meetings also included a meeting of the Standing Committee of Heads of Delegations on 9 October.

"This region is now showing freedom, security and prosperity are not values that stop at any borders," said President Petros Efthymiou on the opening day. "They are the common ideals that live inside us all and shared commitments that we as parliamentarians, diplomats and government leaders must always work to renew."

2011-FM-Dubrovnik-Opening-Session2"The OSCE Parliamentary Assembly has the capacity to participate in the search for solutions that can bring us closer to the wished-for comprehensive concept of a security community in the northern hemisphere," said Tonino Picula, Head of the Croatian Delegation to the OSCE PA. "Success won't be possible without the co-operation of immediate representatives of citizens of the participating States, which are their parliamentary representatives."

Also addressing the Fall Meetings were Croatian President Ivo Josipovic, Prime Minister Jadranka Kosor, and Speaker of the Croatian Parliament Luka Bebic.

Chaired by OSCE PA Special Representative on South-East Europe Roberto Battelli, the session entitled "Challenges and Concerns for South-East Europe: the Role of the OSCE" was addressed by the seven regional heads of OSCE missions: Head of the OSCE Mission in Kosovo, Amb. Werner Almhofer; Head of the OSCE Mission in Serbia, Dimitrios Kypreos; Head of the OSCE Mission to Bosnia and Herzegovina, Amb. Fletcher M. Burton; Head of the OSCE Mission to Montenegro, Amb. Adomavicius Sarunas; Head of the OSCE Mission to Skopje, Ralf Breth; Head of the OSCE Office in Zagreb, Amb. Enrique Horcajada; and Head of the OSCE Presence in Albania, Amb. Eugen Wollfarth.

Speaking at the Mediterranean Forum on 9 October with representatives present from Algeria, Israel, Jordan, Morocco, and Tunisia, President Efthymiou said the upcoming observation of elections in Tunisia shows the strong interest from parliamentarians to build partnerships in the Mediterranean toward common goals.

"OSCE security work in the southern Mediterranean should be based on international co-operation aimed at eliminating the social and economic causes of instability, reinforcing democratization, and restoring an inter-cultural dialogue," Efthymiou said.

Participants also discussed the need for parliaments and governments to speak out on human rights issues, expressed support for the role of women in North African politics, and urged prompt progress toward a two-state solution between Israelis and Palestinians.

The special presentation on The Role of the OSCE in Conflict Resolution: Nagorno-Karabakh was moderated by the OSCE PA's recently appointed Special Representative on the South Caucasus, Assembly President Emeritus Joao Soares. Keynote speakers for the presentation included the Co-Chairs of the OSCE Minsk Group and the Personal Representative of the OSCE Chairperson-in-Office on the conflict dealt with by the OSCE Minsk Conference, marking the first occasion the Assembly heard from these OSCE officials at the same time.

In their presentation to parliamentarians, the Ambassadors from France, Russia, and the United States outlined the progress of the OSCE Minsk Group in settling the protracted conflict and the emphasis on preventing any further escalation of violence between Armenia and Azerbaijan. Following the presentations by the Co-Chairs, the Personal Representative of the OSCE CiO on the Conflict Dealt With by the Minsk Group provided an overview of his work in monitoring the line of contact. He stressed that the number of casualties have remained more or less stable.

In his capacity as OSCE PA Treasurer, Roberto Battelli reported to the Standing Committee that the Assembly is in good financial health and operating under budget. OSCE PA Secretary General Spencer Oliver informed the Standing Committee of the ongoing activities of the International Secretariat, including preparations for upcoming election observation missions and Assembly meetings.

OSCE Secretary General Lamberto Zannier briefed the Standing Committee on the proposed OSCE Budget for 2012, informing Members that current expenditure is consistent with the long-term budgetary trends of the Organization. He also expressed his hope for the expeditious adoption of the budget, pointing out that in recent years the budget has been agreed to in a timely fashion.

The Fall Meetings provided an opportunity for Members to discuss the upcoming election observation missions to Tunisia and Kyrgyzstan. The heads of these election observation missions, OSCE PA Vice-Presidents Riccardo Migliori and Walburga Habsburg Douglas, briefed Members on preparatory visits they recently paid to Tunisia and Kyrgyzstan, respectively.

Also on the margins of the Fall Meetings, the Secretariat's organizational team met with delegations from Georgia, Turkey and Monaco regarding logistics for future Assembly meetings. In addition to next year's Annual Session in Monaco, scheduled for 5-9 July 2012, the dates were confirmed for the 2012 Economic Conference in Batumi (11- 13 May) and the 2013 Annual Session in Istanbul (29 June - 3 July).

  

Opening Remarks by Mr. Petros Efthymiou, President of the OSCE Parliamentary Assembly

 

Parliamentary Representatives of the OSCE Mediterranean Partners for Co-operation
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