Voridis State DeptRichard Hudson and Makis Voridis visit the U.S. State Department, 6 Dec. 2018.WASHINGTON, 7 December 2018 – Wrapping up a visit to the United States, Chair of the OSCE Parliamentary Assembly’s Ad Hoc Countering Terrorism (CCT) Makis Voridis (MP, Greece) said today that effective counter-terrorism measures require a multifaceted approach, including a robust role for parliamentarians and the OSCE.

Beginning the week at the UN headquarters in New York and holding a series of meetings in Washington, DC, Voridis heard from a range of experts and policymakers working on counter-terrorism strategies on the international and domestic fronts in the United States. Participating in a briefing at the U.S. Helsinki Commission in Washington on Tuesday, Voridis was joined by U.S. Congressman and Vice-Chair of the CCT Richard Hudson, who discussed the contribution of the PA in advancing co-ordination on border control and information sharing.

Voridis emphasized the power of 323 members of the OSCE PA asking specific questions of their governments about what they are doing to implement international obligations.

“In addressing terrorism and violent extremism, parliamentarians can promote innovative legislation and provide effective oversight of governmental activities in all the OSCE participating States, ultimately bridging the distance between our constituencies and the organization,” Voridis said. “Further, by bringing citizens’ concerns to the OSCE’s attention and by monitoring that its commitments are properly implemented at the national level, OSCE parliamentarians can contribute to make the work of the OSCE more focused and relevant.”

Hudson stressed that U.S. engagement in the OSCE PA is making contributions to border control and information sharing in the context of preventing and countering terrorism and violent extremism.

“This Assembly is a valuable forum where my congressional colleagues and our counterparts in countries ranging from Canada to Russia to get together and have frequent discussions about the issues of the day and try to find common solutions to the benefit of all our citizens. In recent years I have been pleased to see that the Assembly has responded to our citizens’ needs by paying increasing attention to one of my absolute priorities, which is tackling terrorism,” Hudson said.

He stressed that the CCT offers an important opportunity to make a difference in the international effort to address the principal threat to international peace and security posed by terrorism.

Hudson presented to Voridis the U.S. response to the OSCE PA’s initiative on border control and information sharing, a practical approach to combating the threat posed by returning and relocating foreign terrorist fighters spearheaded by the CCT to promote best practices.

In Washington, Voridis met with members of the U.S.’s OSCE PA delegation, as well as representatives of the U.S. National Counterterrorism Center, the Department of Homeland Security, the State Department, the U.S. Institute of Peace, and leading experts from civil society and academia.

The sides explored ways to strengthen the PA’s co-operation with actors on the domestic level in the United States. Voridis stressed that the OSCE PA is working to leverage its strengths to promote more informed and co-ordinated actions at the parliamentary level across the OSCE area.

For the press release on the New York leg of the visit, please click here.