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2015 07 05 AS Montella elected SGOSCE PA Secretary General-Elect Roberto Montella (left) addresses parliamentarians alongside current Secretary General Spencer Oliver (center) and President Ilkka Kanerva, Helsinki, 5 July 2015. (photo courtesy of Hanne Salonen/Parliament of Finland)HELSINKI, 5 July 2015 – Roberto Montella of Italy has been elected the next Secretary General of the OSCE Parliamentary Assembly with a term starting on 1 January 2016.

The OSCE PA Standing Committee, composed of the Heads of National Delegations, voted in favor of Montella on the opening day of the Assembly’s 2015 Annual Session in Helsinki.

The Secretary General's mandate includes responsibility for managing the affairs of the OSCE PA, carrying out the decisions of the Bureau, the Standing Committee and the Assembly, and overseeing the Secretariat’s offices in Copenhagen and Vienna.

Addressing parliamentarians after his election, Montella said:

“I am honored and humbled by your confidence in me to facilitate our Assembly’s work. I deeply believe in the power of interparliamentary dialogue and its potential to inspire new ideas, solve problems and build bridges in international relations – something which we acutely need in the OSCE area today. I have spent much of my career trying to build bridges between conflicting sides in South East Europe and pledge to use my experience to the fullest to further your initiatives.

“As Secretary General, I will also aim to enhance the Assembly’s co-operation with other OSCE Institutions and international organizations, creating new opportunities to promote and defend the positions and values of the OSCE PA.”

Montella will assume the Secretary General post following two decades of work in international politics and the OSCE. He has held positions at OSCE field missions in Bosnia and Herzegovina, Kosovo, and Serbia and Montenegro and served as Head of the OSCE South Serbia Regional Office. Montella has also served as Head of the European Center for Minority Issues in Kosovo.

He has taken part in nearly 40 election observation missions in the OSCE area and the Middle East, including as Co-ordinator of Long Term Election Observers for The Carter Center. Montella has also served as an advisor to an Italian senator, among other advisory roles. He is currently the OSCE PA’s Director of Presidential Administration, a position he has held since 2012.

In addition to his native Italian and French, Montella is fluent in English and Serbian.

Following the vote, current OSCE PA Secretary General Spencer Oliver of the United States said:

“Roberto Montella has served the OSCE PA well for many years and in various roles. He is well prepared to assume this post and devote himself fully to furthering the Assembly’s work. I am sure he will do an excellent job as Secretary General starting in January.”

Oliver previously announced that he would not seek another term.

The elected leadership of the Assembly had voted to recommend Montella for the position of Secretary General at a meeting of the Bureau in April, following an open application process and consideration of several internal and external candidates.

The term of the OSCE PA Secretary General is five years and may be renewed twice.

For full information about the 2015 Annual Session, visit: http://www.oscepa.org/meetings/annual-sessions/2015-helsinki-annual-session

LIVE STREAMING of the Session is available on www.oscepa.org and recorded video is available on https://www.youtube.com/user/oscepa/videos.

Follow news from the Session using the Twitter hashtag #PAHelsinki15.