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2017 Autumn Meeting Opening Session speakersPrime Minister of Andorra Antoni Martí Peti, OSCE PA President Christine Muttonen and Speaker of the Parliament of Andorra Vicenç Mateu Zamora address the opening session of the 16th Autumn Meeting, 3 Oct. 2017

ANDORRA LA VELLA, 3 October 2017 – The OSCE Parliamentary Assembly’s 2017 Autumn Meeting, bringing together some 180 parliamentarians from across the OSCE’s 57 participating States, opened today in Andorra with addresses by the OSCE PA President, and the Speaker of Parliament and Prime Minister of Andorra.

OSCE PA President Christine Muttonen (MP, Austria) offered remarks highlighting the parliamentary conference’s theme of “Security in the OSCE Area: New Challenges, New Tasks” and emphasized the importance of all OSCE countries working together in meeting these challenges.

“In today’s world a nation’s interests are very closely interlinked with those of others, which means: whenever a country declares that it is pursuing only its own interests without taking into account other countries, it is in fact undermining all of our interests,” she said. “Co-operation is a necessity in this interconnected world, and no country – no matter how big it may be – can afford to ensure its security on its own.”

President Muttonen highlighted the role of parliamentarians in fostering co-operation and meaningful dialogue to address ongoing and emerging crises in the OSCE area, and noted in particular the importance of tackling climate change and resolving the region’s conflicts. In combating climate change, she called for policies that prioritize clean energy projects, investment and innovation to promote environmentally friendly economic growth.

“We also must insist that all OSCE countries ratify the 2015 Paris Agreement on climate change and – more importantly – to fulfill their obligations under the agreement,” she said. The President further called for a redoubling of efforts to resolve the crisis in and around Ukraine.

In his opening address to parliamentarians, the Speaker of the Parliament of Andorra, Vicenç Mateu Zamora, noted that security and co-operation are the core values of the OSCE and its participating States. “These values are part of a framework which is necessary for citizens to develop freely, both individually and collectively,” he said.

“We are going through difficult times,” the Speaker added. “I hope that we can carry out our responsibility as politicians to work towards a better future. Dialogue is the key to finding solutions for a more just and peaceful world.”

Andorra’s Prime Minister, Antoni Martí Peti, said: “Multilateralism is the way forward towards more democratic and fair international relations. Furthermore, in the long run, it is the only way to find solutions to the issues facing the international community. The issues dealt with in this conference – cybersecurity, climate change and education – cannot be addressed solely at a national level, but rather they require a more global perspective and international co-operation.”

Earlier today, the OSCE PA’s Mediterranean Forum addressed the promotion of security and co-operation in the Mediterranean.

The Mediterranean Forum was opened by OSCE PA Special Representative on Mediterranean Affairs Pascal Allizard (MP, France), and featured welcoming remarks by Meritxell Palmitjavila Naudí, Head of the Andorran Delegation to the OSCE PA; as well as presentations by Pedro Roque, President of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Mediterranean; Minister Counsellor Luca Fratini, on behalf of the 2017 Chairmanship of the OSCE Contact Group with the Mediterranean Partners for Co-operation; and Mário Gomes, Diplomatic Advisor to the Secretary General of the Union for the Mediterranean.

Delegates from Algeria, Morocco and the Palestinian Legislative Council also addressed the Mediterranean Forum. Participants addressed topics including the importance of pursuing a humanitarian approach to migration flows, infrastructure development in the Mediterranean region, international co-operation on countering terrorism, and the impact that demographic changes are having in the area.

The Autumn Meeting continues today with a session on “Addressing Cybersecurity.” On Wednesday parliamentarians will discuss issues related to “Environmental Security: Addressing Climate Change” and on Thursday will debate the topic, “Human Dimension: Promoting Education as a Guarantee of Stability and Development.”

The Autumn Meeting runs 3-5 October. Photos from the meeting are on the Consell General’s Flickr page. More information – including the full remarks by President Christine Muttonen, Prime Minister Antoni Martí Peti and Speaker Vicenç Mateu Zamora – is available here