COPENHAGEN, 16 February 2017 – The OSCE Parliamentary Assembly will hold its 16th Winter Meeting at the Hofburg Congress Centre in Vienna on 23-24 February 2017. The opening session will feature speeches by President of the National Council of Austria Doris Bures, OSCE PA President Christine Muttonen (Austria), and OSCE PA Special Representative on Gender Issues Hedy Fry (Canada).

In the closing joint session on the afternoon of 24 February, parliamentarians will hear addresses by Chairperson-in-Office of the OSCE and Minister of Foreign Affairs of Austria Sebastian Kurz and OSCE Secretary General Amb. Lamberto Zannier, followed by a question and answer session.

The three general committees will meet to hear from government representatives of OSCE countries and debate issues related to political and security affairs, economics and the environment, and human rights and humanitarian questions. (Full agendas for the committee meetings are available here.)

General Committee on Democracy, Human Rights and Humanitarian Questions

23 February, 15.15-18.00

  • Remarks by Ignacio Sanchez Amor (Spain), Chair of the Committee
  • Presentation by Kyriakos Hadjiyianni (Cyprus), Rapporteur of the Committee
  • Presentation by Ambassador Sian MacLeod, Chair of the Human Dimension Committee of the OSCE Permanent Council and Head of the United Kingdom Delegation to the OSCE in Vienna
  • Presentation by Michael Georg Link, Director of the OSCE Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights (ODIHR)
  • Debate: “Protecting human rights amid growing populism”

General Committee on Economic Affairs, Science, Technology and Environment

23 February 2017, 15:15-18:00

  • Remarks by Nilza Sena (Portugal), Chair of the Committee
  • Presentation by Ms. Marietta Tidei (Italy), Rapporteur of the Committee
  • Presentation by Ambassador Kairat Sarybay, Chair of the OSCE Economic and Environmental Committee – Permanent Representative of the Republic of Kazakhstan to the OSCE
  • Presentation by Halil Yurdakul Yigitguden, Co-ordinator of OSCE Economic and Environmental Activities
  • Debate: “Managing natural resources, addressing water security and combating climate change”

General Committee on Political Affairs and Security

24 February 2017, 09:00-11:45

  • Remarks by Senator Roger Wicker (United States), Chair of the Committee
  • Presentation by Margareta Cederfelt (Sweden), Rapporteur of the Committee
  • Presentation by Ambassador Steffen Kongstad, Chair of the Security Committee of the OSCE Permanent Council and Permanent Representative of Norway to the OSCE
  • Presentation by Ambassador Cristian Istrate, Chair of the Forum for Security Co-operation and Permanent Representative of Romania to the OSCE
  • Presentation by Henrik Villadsen, Director and Officer in Charge of the OSCE High Commissioner on National Minorities (HCNM)
  • Debate: “Transnational Security in the OSCE Area: Confronting Terrorism” - Introduction by Rasa Ostrauskaite, OSCE Co-ordinator of Activities to Address Transnational Threats

The Winter Meeting will conclude with a special debate held in a joint session of the three committees on the afternoon of 24 February. The theme for the debate is “Protecting human rights in times of crisis,” with dozens of interventions expected to address the importance of upholding fundamental rights during periods of heightened security concerns.

More information about the Winter Meeting, including the full draft programme, is available here, where the meeting will also be livestreaming on 23-24 February. Follow the meeting on social media with the hashtag #OSCEPA.

Meetings are open to the press. For accreditation, journalists should contact:

Nat Parry
OSCE PA Head of Communications and Press
Mobile: +45 60 10 81 77
Email: [email protected]