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COPENHAGEN, 24 June 2011 – With an eye toward reforming the world’s largest regional security organization, the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe Parliamentary Assembly will convene its 20th Annual Session in Belgrade, Serbia on 6 July.

More than 250 Members of Parliament from more than 50 countries are expected to meet in Belgrade under the theme of “Strengthening the OSCE’s Effectiveness and Efficiency – A new start after the Astana Summit.”

Members will vote on more than 25 resolutions covering Mediterranean political transition, cyber security, combating transnational organized crime, human organ trafficking, food security, disaster planning, and nuclear energy among other issues.

The session will conclude 10 July with the election of officers and the adoption of the Belgrade Declaration, which helps shape OSCE and national policy.

“In a world with ever changing threats to security and human rights, the Parliamentary Assembly has been a leader in encouraging the OSCE to act openly and transparently in addressing regional concerns,” said Assembly President Petros Efthymiou. “Now at our 20th annual meeting our work is all the more important as we vote on how the OSCE can best respond to the dynamic situations in the Mediterranean and continued conflicts elsewhere."

“The agenda before us should inspire thought-provoking and effective debate in Belgrade and thus further improve the functioning of our organization,” said Slavica Dukic-Dejanovic, Speaker of National Assembly of the Republic of Serbia.

“From strengthening the dialogue between the governmental representatives and parliaments to helping upgrading the organization’s work on media freedom, economic and gender issues, votes taken at past Annual Session have often led to lasting changes for the OSCE,” said Assembly Secretary General Spencer Oliver.

Mr. Efthymiou and Ms. Dukic-Dejanovic will hold a news conference at 14.00 on Wednesday, 6 July at the Sava Centre in Belgrade. A full media programme is below.

The OSCE Parliamentary Assembly is comprised of 320 parliamentarians from 55 countries spanning, Europe, Central Asia and North America. The Assembly provides a forum for parliamentary diplomacy, monitors elections, and strengthens international co-operation to uphold commitments on political, security, economic, environmental and human rights issues.