02 2018 Tsereteli Lajcak2NEW YORK, 2 February 2018 – Concluding two days of meetings with senior United Nations officials today, OSCE Parliamentary Assembly President George Tsereteli (MP, Georgia), underlined the importance of continued close co-operation among international actors particularly related to resolving protracted conflicts.

President Tsereteli and OSCE PA Secretary General Roberto Montella held a series of meetings including with the President of the UN General Assembly Miroslav Lajcak; Under-Secretary-General Vladimir Voronkov, UN Counter-Terrorism Office; Assistant Secretary-General for Political Affairs, Miroslav Jenca; and Yannick Glemarec, Deputy Executive Director of UN Women, among others.

“The OSCE and the UN are natural partners in so many fields of work, and as we all work for more peace, security and development, it’s crucially important to capitalize on each others’ strengths,” said Tsereteli. “As OSCE parliamentarians continue work on issues such as countering terrorism, finding sustainable solutions to migration flows, and seeking solutions to unresolved conflicts, I’m pleased that we can build on excellent work in all these fields by the United Nations.”

The meetings in New York served particularly as an opportunity to explore areas for further co-operation in priority fields of work. Of particular focus in the meetings were issues related to the crisis in and around Ukraine, unresolved conflicts in the South Caucasus, developments in Central Asia and South East Europe, as well as humanitarian concerns, migration and terrorism, with President Tsereteli highlighting the work being done within these fields by OSCE parliamentarians.

Parliamentary engagement and leadership is critical for successfully addressing almost all major international challenges, whether related to climate change, to combating terrorism, or to safeguarding fundamental freedoms, said Tsereteli. The OSCE Parliamentary Assembly not only provides an important platform for dialogue on key international topics among legislators, said the President, but Members of Parliament also provide a vital link between the work conducted by international organizations and the people they serve.

In meeting with Under-Secretary-General Voronkov, President Tsereteli encouraged close co-operation between the new UN Counter-Terrorism Office and the OSCE PA’s recently established committee on countering terrorism. In November 2017 the PA’s committee members held high-level discussions in Vienna with officials from the UN Office on Drugs and Crime.

Meeting with officials at UN Women, the President particularly highlighted the OSCE PA’s efforts in the field of promoting gender equality and encouraging women to assume positions of power and political leadership, led by the Assembly’s Special Representative on Gender Issues, Dr. Hedy Fry (MP, Canada). President Tsereteli encouraged further enhancing co-operation between UN Women and the OSCE PA including related to the role of women in conflict resolution.

The Parliamentary Assembly of the OSCE is the parliamentary dimension of the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe, whose 57 participating States span the geographical area from Vancouver to Vladivostok. The primary task of the 323-member Assembly is to facilitate inter-parliamentary dialogue, an important aspect of the overall effort to meet the challenges of democracy throughout the OSCE area.