2016 BM Copenhagen ComicThird Committee Rapporteur Gordana Comic (MP, Serbia) at this year's Bureau Meeting in Copenhagen, 11 April 2016COPENHAGEN, 16 June 2016 – Stressing that a revitalization of the OSCE’s commitment to the human dimension of security is needed at a time when a “crisis of leadership and ideas” is coinciding with a humanitarian emergency related to Europe’s refugee and migrant crisis, a report and draft resolution authored by Serbian parliamentarian Gordana Comic offer fresh approaches to ensuring human rights commitments are upheld by OSCE participating States.

The resolution, which will be considered by hundreds of members of parliament meeting at the OSCE Parliamentary Assembly’s 25th Annual Session in Tbilisi, Georgia, next month, raises concerns over the deprioritizing of human and democratic rights, and provides guidance on ways to improve the multidimensional approach to security that lies at the heart of the OSCE. The resolution will be debated and amended during a number of meetings of the OSCE PA’s General Committee on Democracy, Human Rights and Humanitarian Questions beginning on 2 July.

Comic, who serves as the committee’s rapporteur, said today that the lack of leadership and ideas regarding human rights is having a negative impact on the OSCE’s overall mission. “There is a need to put a spotlight on the lack of energy regarding the human rights agenda and how weak leadership is contributing to an emerging status quo that places political and military concerns above humanitarian and human rights concerns,” she said. “Respect for human rights, democracy and rule of law is fundamental to lasting security.”

The migration crisis has highlighted the lack of ideas and leadership, she added, noting in particular that there has been little action on how to ensure that governments of OSCE countries respond in a way that respects the rights of those fleeing conflict. In this regard, Comic’s draft resolution draws attention to the risks of “securitization” of the migrant crisis and calls for a gender-sensitive approach to human security issues.

The OSCE should also consider establishing a high-level co-ordinating body on migration and a thematic field mission dealing with the issue, which would enable more focused and coherent responses, according to the resolution.

In addition, the resolution:

  • Urges OSCE countries to stop imposing legal and physical barriers to the movement of people fleeing violence and to work toward an inclusive approach to migrants and refugees;
  • Calls for national labour markets to be opened up to refugees and asylum-seekers at the earliest possible stage;
  • Calls upon OSCE countries to recognize the rights of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people as inherent in the human rights enshrined in the Helsinki Final Act and other OSCE documents;
  • Calls on OSCE countries to open discussions on broadening their human rights commitments.

Comic’s resolution will be considered along with several additional resolutions that cover other matters related to the OSCE’s human dimension of security. After the amendment process and their adoption by the committee, resolutions will be voted on by the full Assembly during the final day of the Annual Session on 5 July, for inclusion in the OSCE PA’s Tbilisi Declaration.

The Declaration, containing wide-ranging policy recommendations and pronouncements in the fields of security, economics and the environment, and human rights, will be sent to the foreign ministers of OSCE participating States and presented in national parliaments.

Held under the theme “25 Years of Parliamentary Co-operation: Building Trust Through Dialogue,” the Annual Session will take place at Expo Georgia Exhibition Center in Tbilisi, and is open to the media. Additional information, including the full text of resolutions and reports, is available here.

Journalists interested in attending the Annual Session should register here by 20 June.

The OSCE Parliamentary Assembly is comprised of 323 parliamentarians from 57 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.