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191017 CM at PCOSCE PA President Christine Muttonen addresses the OSCE Permanent Council, 19 Oct. 2017. (OSCE PA/Marc Carillet)VIENNA, 19 October 2017 – Speaking at the OSCE Permanent Council in Vienna today, OSCE Parliamentary Assembly President Christine Muttonen (MP, Austria) stressed the importance of strengthening dialogue and co-operation between OSCE parliamentarians and the OSCE’s governmental representatives. She urged all OSCE institutions to work closely together and share their strengths in order to meet current challenges.

President Muttonen welcomed the Permanent Council’s efforts to transform fundamental security issues into structured dialogue, noting that in view of the numerous unresolved conflicts in the OSCE region, the return of military threats and the attempted annexation of foreign territories, it is important to intensify discussions and build trust.

“In these times, we need not less, but more exchange and dialogue,” she said.

The PA’s strengths, she noted, include its diversity of opinions, its open forums that allow for broad-based dialogue, and its democratic decision-making processes, which facilitate the development of new and sometimes unconventional ideas. She also mentioned its direct contacts with citizens and civil society, and contributions to promoting efficiency and accountability within the OSCE.

President Muttonen stressed that in order for the OSCE to meet challenges such as climate change, migration, terrorism, military threats, and rising authoritarianism, countries must work together. In this regard, the OSCE’s governmental side should review the PA’s recommendations for political responses to challenges facing the region in advance of the OSCE Ministerial Council in December.

The President also discussed the activities of the PA’s Ad Hoc Committee on Migration and noted that last summer, the PA established a new Ad Hoc Committee on Countering Terrorism. She stressed that the Parliamentary Assembly has long supported the work of the OSCE’s field operations, calling them the greatest added value of the OSCE.

“It is therefore very regrettable that again important field missions were ended,” she said. She applauded however the recent appointment of the OSCE Secretary General and heads of three institutions.

191017 CM at PC w Greminger and KojaPresident Christine Muttonen with OSCE Secretary General Thomas Greminger and Austrian Ambassador to the OSCE Clemens Koja, Vienna, 19 Oct. 2017. (OSCE/Ghada Hazim)“We welcome the fact that the new Secretary General has made the task of strengthening OSCE co-operation with other organizations and structures outside the OSCE,” Muttonen said. “We share this approach and work closely with non-traditional partners, in the Mediterranean and in Asia.”

Following the President’s speech, ambassadors representing most of the OSCE's participating States welcomed her calls for closer co-operation. Statements also focused on displaying recognition for the work of the PA in fields such as countering terrorism and trafficking in human beings, promoting tolerance and non-discrimination, migration and other topics.

Some ambassadors at the Permanent Council also echoed the President’s words of praise for OSCE field missions.

The Permanent Council is the principal decision-making body for regular political consultations and for governing the day-to-day operational work of the OSCE between the meetings of the Ministerial Council. It meets every Thursday and implements tasks defined and decisions taken by OSCE Summits and the Ministerial Council.

Muttonen’s address today was her second time speaking at the Permanent Council as Assembly President.

For her full remarks to the Permanent Council, please click here.