BELGRADE, 10 March 2011 – OSCE Parliamentary Assembly President Petros Eftyhmiou and Speaker of the National Assembly of the Republic of Serbia Slavica Djukic-Dejanovic today signed the official agreement to hold the 20th Annual Session of the OSCE PA in Belgrade 6-10 July.
The 2011 Annual Session will convene under the theme “Strengthening the OSCE’s Effectiveness and Efficiency – A new start after the Astana Summit.” Under the agreement, the Serbian parliament will host the session at the Sava Centre in central Belgrade.
The largest event on the Assembly’s calendar, the Annual Session typically gathers about 250 parliamentarians to elect officers and vote on resolutions to inform the work of the OSCE and parliamentarians in participating States. The event will conclude with the adoption of the Belgrade Declaration, expressing the collective will of the OSCE’s parliamentary dimension.
“Bringing our parliamentarians to Belgrade this summer is a reminder of the special place the Western Balkans has within the OSCE. As the most active international organization in this region since the 1990s, the OSCE has long been a credible bridge among the varying parties here, so it is fitting for Serbia to host this year’s meeting as we seek ways to reinvigorate the organization,” President Efthymiou said.
While in Belgrade, Mr. Efthymiou also met with Deputy Minister for Multilateral Relations Vuk Zugic and members of the Serbian Delegation to the OSCE PA. President Efthymiou also visited the OSCE Mission to Serbia.
We have noticed real improvement since 2008 in reforms in the Serbian parliament, the judicial system and in human rights,” he said. “The OSCE Mission, under the leadership of Ambassador Dimitrios Kypreos is doing an excellent job.”