Parliamentary Web Dialogues


Wednesday 22 April, 15:00 CET: The Economic Security Fallout of the COVID-19 Pandemic
Friday 8 May, 15:00 CET: Respecting human rights and maintaining democratic control during states of emergency
Friday 15 May, 15:00 CET: COVID’s impact on conflicts in the OSCE region
Friday 22 May, 15:00 CET: COVID-19: a turning point for environmental protection
Tuesday 26 May, 16:00 CET: Protecting refugees and migrants during the pandemic: Camps and closed centres under lockdown


Parliamentary Web Dialogue on "COVID-19: A turning point for environmental protection?"

In developing COVID-19 recovery plans, policymakers have an opportunity to advance an agenda to protect the environment while creating new employment opportunities, participants said in the fourth OSCE Parliamentary Assembly webinar on the COVID-19 crisis. There were more than 100 participants, including some 40 OSCE parliamentarians, who took part in the Parliamentary Web Dialogue.

German parliamentarian Doris Barnett, the Chair of the OSCE PA’s economic and environmental committee, opened the event by noting that the pandemic requires policymakers to rethink old habits and adjust them appropriately.

“The one crisis that affects all of us right now is the COVID-19 pandemic,” said Tao Zhang, Deputy Managing Director of the International Monetary Fund. Dr. Francesca Dominici, Professor of Biostatistics at the T.H. Chan School of Public Health and Co-Director of the Data Science Initiative at Harvard University, presented a detailed description of COVID-19’s health effects and noted that certain vulnerable populations – such as minorities and low-income groups – are at greater risk than others. “The green shoots of nature have to be placed at the heart of any COVID-19 recovery plan,” said Susan Gardner, Director Ecosystems Division in the UN Environment Programme.

In the discussion, OSCE PA members highlighted the links between environmental degradation and public health, explored opportunities for targeted “green” policy interventions in response to the ongoing crisis, and debated ways to better protect the environment in order to enhance human security. Read more...

Photos of the webinar are available on FlickrFor video of the event, please check this space.


Parliamentary Web Dialogue on "Covid’s Impact on Conflicts in the OSCE Region"

The webinar included the participation of nearly 50 parliamentarians from some 30 countries. Keynote speakers included Ambassador Tuula Yrjölä, Director of the OSCE Conflict Prevention Centre, and Ambassador Yaşar Halit Çevik, Head of the OSCE Special Monitoring Mission to Ukraine. The online event also featured remarks by the Chair, Vice-Chair, and Rapporteur of the OSCE PA General Committee on Political Affairs and Security – Richard Hudson (United States), Costel Neculai Dunava (Romania), and Rapporteur Laurynas Kasciunas (Lithuania), respectively.

Populations of conflict-affected countries are at greater risk due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Stressing that the pandemic poses obstacles to conflict resolution and humanitarian aid efforts, participants urged governments to keep focus on working towards a free and peaceful OSCE area in which all countries fully implement the fundamental principles agreed to under the Helsinki Final Act. Read more...

To watch a video of the webinar, please click herePhotos of the event are available on Flickr.

Intervention by OSCE PA Secretary General Roberto Montella, 15 May 2020

Address and Q&A by Amb. Tuula Yrjola, OSCE Director of the Conflict Prevention Centre, 15 May 2020

Address and Q&A by Amb. Halit Cevik OSCE, Chief Monitor of the OSCE SMM to Ukraine, 15 May 2020

Parliamentary Web Dialogue on "Respecting human rights and maintaining democratic control during states of emergency"

More than 50 members of parliament from across the OSCE region participated in an online discussion on 8 May focused on the human rights consequences and democratic challenges posed by responses to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Some two-thirds of OSCE countries have put in place states of emergency or other extraordinary measures, which often enable curbs on rights and can result in limitations on parliamentary oversight. The webinar encouraged participants to address the question of ‘Respecting human rights and maintaining democratic control during states of emergency’, with parliamentarians from more than 30 countries attending the online event.

In welcoming participants to the discussion, Kyriakos Hadjiyianni (MP, Cyprus), Chair of the OSCE Parliamentary Assembly’s human rights committee, noted the complexity of current challenges. The Director of the OSCE Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights, Ingibjorg Gisladottir, and the President of Freedom House, Michael Abramowitz, introduced a number of aspects for discussion by the parliamentarians.

A range of practical examples adopted by parliaments to ensure their continued effectiveness were presented by MPs, who took the opportunity to share their countries’ approaches. Read more...

To watch a full video of the webinar, please click hereFor photos of the event, please click here. Find the wed dialogue Highlights here.


Parliamentary Web Dialogue on "The Economic Security Fallout of the COVID-19 Pandemic"

Some 85 participants joined the OSCE Parliamentary Assembly’s first webinar on the COVID 19 crisis on 22 April, focused on the economic security fallout of the pandemic.

Experts and parliamentarians shared views and lessons learned throughout the OSCE region and discussed the way forward for economic recovery. Expert keynote speakers included Prof. Giovanni Tria, former Italian Minister of Economy and Finance; Jeffrey Schlagenhauf, Deputy Secretary-General of the OECD; and Prof. Gottfried Haber, Vice Governor at the National Bank of Austria. Following their presentations, more than a dozen parliamentarians took the floor to highlight various aspects of the crisis, share experiences from their countries, and pose questions to the experts. 

In the discussion, members underlined the role of parliaments and discussed ways they can continue their vital functions in the period of lockdowns and social distancing, emphasizing that parliamentarians must work together to build recovery in the post-COVID-19 world. There is also a need for greater action on the EU level, it was stressed. Read more...

Highlights of the webinar.

To watch a full video of the webinar, please click here. Photos are available on the OSCE PA’s Flickr page

Presentation by Prof. Giovanni Tria, former Italian Minister of Economy and Finance, 22 April 2020

Presentation by Jeffrey Schlagenhauf, Deputy Secretary General of the OECD, 22 April 2020

More videos here

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