Tsereteli addresses OSCE Permanent Council. Photo: Micky Kroell/OSCEVIENNA, 25 January 2018 – In his first address to the OSCE Permanent Council, OSCE President George Tsereteli (MP, Georgia) today called on the Organization’s participating States to ensure the effective functioning of the OSCE, noting it is one of the leanest and most flexible organizations in the world.

“We live in very volatile times. Security needs to be regained every day. We see a growing amount of confusion, also among our citizens, regarding the benefits of the values of liberal democracy. We see the reappearance of the ugly heads of intolerance, racism, xenophobia, aggressive nationalism and populism. In these times, how could we do without the OSCE?” asked Tsereteli. “Let us continue to join our efforts in making it stronger and more effective,” he appealed.

To this end, Tsereteli urged a rapid adoption of the OSCE’s budget, so the organization can live up to the taskings and expectations of OSCE countries.

The President pledged the support of the OSCE Parliamentary Assembly for co-operation in all fields with the Organization’s executive side. He particularly encouraged further support for and use of OSCE field operations, noting that “as a Georgian, I can attest to the valuable work the mission did in my country before unfortunately being shut down. Especially in times when the situation is aggravated because of a deteriorating unresolved conflict, an OSCE presence can lend precious support to the affected people and to the host country.”

Tsereteli also stressed the importance of the broadest possible contribution from non-governmental organizations to OSCE work, to ensure a full and unrestricted exchange of information and opinions. Individual governments, he said, should not be able to veto their participation.

President Tsereteli took the opportunity to update the Ambassadors of all OSCE countries on planned activities of the OSCE Parliamentary Assembly in the coming year. He highlighted in particular efforts related to migration and countering terrorism.

The OSCE PA’s main annual meeting will take place in Berlin in July, he announced, and is expected to result in the adoption of a range of political recommendations under the theme ‘Implementing OSCE Commitments – the Role of Parliaments’.

The President’s address (available here) was followed by a detailed exchange of views with many representatives of OSCE countries.

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.

(Photo: Micky Kroell/OSCE)