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2016 AS Usupashvili Pallares Montella 300616L-R: Secretary of Delegation Mary Gogoloadze, OSCE PA Deputy Secretary General Gustavo Pallares, Speaker of Georgian Parliament David Usupashvili, and OSCE PA Secretary General Roberto Montella, Tbilisi, Georgia, 30 June 2016TBILISI, 30 June 2016 – Held under the theme “25 Years of Parliamentary Co-operation: Building Trust Through Dialogue,” the OSCE Parliamentary Assembly’s 2016 Annual Session will begin Friday in Tbilisi, Georgia, with keynote speeches by Georgian Speaker of Parliament David Usupashvili, Georgian President Giorgi Margvelashvili, Georgian Prime Minister Giorgi Kvirikashvili, OSCE PA President Ilkka Kanerva (MP, Finland), and OSCE Chairman-in-Office and German Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier.

Bringing together nearly 300 members of parliament from around 50 countries to debate and adopt resolutions on some of today’s most pressing challenges in the areas of security, human rights, economics and the environment, the Session is hosted by the Parliament of Georgia and will take place 1-5 July at the ExpoGeorgia Exhibition Center in Tbilisi.

Debates are expected on the crisis in and around Ukraine, protracted conflicts in Georgia, fundamental freedoms in Crimea, transnational terrorism, the fight against corruption, the rights of refugeesclimate change and lifting sanctions against parliamentarians. Other topics for debate include:

  • Whether an international peacekeeping operation should be deployed to Ukraine in order to reinforce the Minsk Agreements
  • The possible establishment of a high-level OSCE co-ordinating body on migration
  • Recent military escalation in the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict zone
  • Enhancing OSCE early warning mechanisms to enable swifter action on international challenges
  • Opening OSCE countries’ labour markets to migrants
  • International co-ordination of law enforcement efforts to prevent child sexual exploitation

After the amendment process and their adoption by the general committees, resolutions will be voted on by the full Assembly on the final day of the Annual Session on 5 July for inclusion in the OSCE PA’s Tbilisi Declaration, which will be presented to foreign ministers and speakers of parliament of the OSCE’s 57 countries. Participants will also hold elections for the OSCE PA’s Bureau, including for the President of the Assembly. In addition, the PA’s Standing Committee will adopt the annual budget for the coming fiscal year.

At the plenary sessions on 4 and 5 July, expected speakers include OSCE PA Special Representative on Gender Issues Hedy Fry (MP, Canada), Treasurer Doris Barnett (MP, Germany), and Secretary General Roberto Montella, as well as the newly elected President.

For schedules, resolutions, live streaming during the event, daily news updates, press releases and other information, please visit www.oscepa.org and www.parliament.ge/en/oscepa-tbilisi-2016. Photos will be posted on the PA’s Flickr page at www.flickr.com/oscepa and both the PA and the Georgian Parliament will be tweeting using the hashtag #OSCEPATbilisi.

The Session is open to accredited members of the press. Media inquiries can be directed to Nat Parry, Head of Communications and Press at the OSCE PA, at [email protected] or Nino Beradze, Head of Public Relations and Information Department at the Georgian Parliament, at [email protected]