2016 VISIT Vigenin GeorgiaCOPENHAGEN, 12 February 2016 – OSCE Parliamentary Assembly President Ilkka Kanerva (MP, Finland) has appointed Bulgarian parliamentarian Kristian Vigenin to serve as the Assembly’s Special Representative on the South Caucasus.

The position will focus the Assembly’s efforts to promote reconciliation and the implementation of OSCE commitments in the region, support confidence-building measures, and create a focal point for contact between the PA and OSCE executive structures within or at work on the region.

“I am pleased that my colleague, Mr. Vigenin, will lead the OSCE PA's efforts on contributing to reconciliation in the region and to addressing challenges, as well as opportunities, in the political, economic and human rights fields. The OSCE has many tools at its disposal to improve the lives of the region's people and I am confident that the PA can now play a larger role in promoting them,” President Kanerva said.

In accepting the appointment, Vigenin said:

“Whether we are talking about protracted conflicts, addressing corruption or democratization, more political will is needed to make progress on the many challenges facing the South Caucasus region. It is my hope that dialogue within the Parliamentary Assembly can contribute to building positive momentum. I also look forward to working closely with the people, parliaments and governments of the region to promote more active engagement and co-operation within the OSCE."

The mandate of the OSCE PA Special Representative on the South Caucasus is to:

• Follow the overall political situation in the region and seek to promote dialogue in all segments of society, in particular at the parliamentary level, in order to encourage reconciliation and rehabilitation with regard to the protracted conflicts in the region;

• Consider ways in which confidence-building measures could be introduced in order to create more favorable conditions, conducive to the identification and implementation of political solutions based on the principles and values of OSCE commitments and international law;

• Work closely with the OSCE, the OSCE Office in Yerevan, the Minsk Group, its Co-chairmanship and the Chairman-in-Office’s Personal Representative on the Conflict Dealt With by the Minsk Group, and follow the developments in the Geneva International Discussions;

• Maintain close contacts within the Assembly and serve as a focal point for its work on the region;

• Provide advice and report back to the President and the Assembly regularly.

In his home country, Vigenin served as Minister of Foreign Affairs in 2013-2014. He is currently a member of the Foreign Policy Committee and the European Affairs and Oversight of European Funds Committee in the Bulgarian parliament.

Vigenin currently serves as Deputy Head of the Bulgarian Delegation to the OSCE PA. He was previously a member of the European Parliament, where he was particularly active on foreign affairs issues. He was also elected as the first EP Chair of the Euronest Parliamentary Assembly in 2011.

Vigenin most recently visited the South Caucasus in late January as a member of high-level OSCE PA delegations to Azerbaijan and Georgia

Each OSCE PA Special Representative holds a mandate pertaining to a specific issue within the Assembly’s work or to a geographical area represented in the Assembly.

Click here for a full listing.