Informal OSCE PA Leadership Meetings

PA leaders met online for discussions on Assembly activities, international priorities and challenges facing OSCE on 2 September 

In an informal leadership meeting on Wednesday, the OSCE Parliamentary Assembly’s President, Secretary General and several Bureau members discussed developments in the OSCE area and PA activities. President George Tsereteli (Georgia) and Vice-President Margareta Cederfelt (Sweden) reported on the OSCE PA’s election observation in Montenegro this past weekend.informal leadership meeting 2 September 2020

The President discussed the situation in Belarus, highlighting that he has exchanged with a number of OSCE PA Members regarding the ongoing situation there. He also addressed issues related to the pandemic, stressing the need to show global unity and solidarity, discussed the continuous illegal borderization in Geogia, and touched on the recent escalation of the conflict over Nagorno-Karabakh, as well as the situation in eastern Ukraine. He welcomed the fact that in Ukraine, the longest ceasefire since the start of the hostilities continues to hold.

Members discussed the PA’s engagement on Nagorno-Karabakh conflict resolution, unrest in the United States, the COVID-19 situation, economic recovery, and avenues for engagement with Belarus. Read more...

Photos of the meeting are available on Flickr

Addressing the leaders of the OSCE Parliamentary Assembly in an online forum on 29 May, OSCE Secretary General Thomas Greminger discussed the challenges that COVID-19 is posing to multilateral diplomacy and highlighted how the OSCE has responded with flexibility and resilience in the face of the crisis.

Stressing that the lessons learned from this experience can help ensure that the OSCE is well prepared to deal with future crises, Greminger pointed out that COVID-19 has demonstrated the need to revitalize multilateralism and build a co-operative international order.

Members raised numerous issues in the discussion with SG Greminger, with questions posed about connectivity, protracted conflicts, fake news, and how to ensure that the OSCE remains relevant through the promotion of an approach to COVID-19 based on the three dimensions of security.

Taking note that the OSCE budget was adopted yesterday, PA Secretary General Roberto Montella pointed out that the OSCE does an extraordinary amount of work with limited financial resources. Lord Peter Bowness, OSCE PA Vice-President and Chair of the Sub-Committee on Rules of Procedure and Working Practices, made a presentation on the advisability of reviewing the OSCE PA’s Rules of Procedure, including finding ways to ensure the continuity of Assembly functions during times of crisis. Read more ...

Photos of the meeting are available on Flickr

Address and Q&A by OSCE Secretary General Thomas Greminger, 29 May 2020

The OSCE PA’s leadership met remotely on 25 March to discuss the Assembly’s response to the coronavirus pandemic and options for upcoming statutory meetings and other activities.

With 19 Bureau members participating in the online forum, it was announced that upcoming election observation missions have been postponed and that the spring Bureau meeting, scheduled for April 27 in Copenhagen, will be held remotely. 32

President George Tsereteli (Georgia) offered statements of support for members and staff of the Parliamentary Assembly, noting that everyone is adjusting to the new realities of the coronavirus pandemic while some countries are dealing with higher levels of crisis than others. “We are ready to meet the challenges,” the President stressed. 

Attilio Fontana, President of Lombardia Region of Italy, addressed the Bureau and provided a briefing about the situation in his region. He noted that the number of deaths continues to rise and that in order to combat the virus the authorities have prioritized social distancing. The decisions have been made in co-ordination with all the relevant authorities with the full understanding that the fundamental rights of citizens are being restricted, he said. He appealed for governments to assist with the deployment of doctors and necessary equipment to Italy.

Vice-President Kari Henriksen (Norway) stressed that parliamentarians have an important role to play in this crisis, and must be honest about the situation in their own countries. First Committee Chair Richard Hudson (United States) stressed the need for transatlantic solidarity in response to the crisis.

Other issues raised by Bureau members included the need to set firm deadlines for making decisions on upcoming OSCE PA activities, the importance of combating fake news, promoting food security and addressing economic impacts of the crisis. Read more...

Intervention by Attilio Fontana, President of the region of Lombardy, OSCE PA Informal Leadership Meeting, 25 March 2020


The OSCE PA’s elected leadership met again on 8 April for informal discussions on the Assembly’s activities during the coronavirus crisis.

The Bureau members agreed to endorse the recent call by UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres for a global ceasefire, and were briefed by Vincenzo Amendola, Italy’s Minister of European Affairs, who provided an update on the situation in his country and the European institutions’ reaction to the crisis.

In his remarks, Minister Amendola stressed that multilateralism is needed now more than ever. He emphasized the need to reshape multilateral tools and decision-making procedures considering that the coronavirus crisis is not “business as usual.” 

Head of the Canadian Delegation Hedy Fry briefed the Bureau members on the decision to cancel the 2020 Annual Session in Vancouver. Noting the difficulty of making this call, she pointed out that the COVID-19 pandemic is a crisis that we have no control over and considering Canada’s travel restrictions, organizing an international meeting was not realistic.

Members also raised the possibility of adopting documents and producing recommendations without physically holding the summer meeting where these decisions are usually made. As far as the composition of the Bureau is concerned, it was agreed that no changes would be made until the 2021 Annual Session when proper elections for officers could take place.

Secretary General Roberto Montella stressed that the PA is working closely with other organizations in a way to promote cohesion, share information and facilitate co-operation. PA President George Tsereteli highlighted the economic hardship that the crisis may have on parliaments, and how this could impact the work of the Assembly. Nevertheless, he expressed confidence in the work of parliamentarians, who are continuing to meet the challenges of this period.

Discussion also focused on various opportunities for continuing OSCE PA work by using tools such as webinars. The OSCE PA’s general committees could meet in an online forum, it was emphasized, to discuss the impact of the pandemic on the OSCE’s three dimensions of security. Members also discussed ways to ensure that the work of ad hoc committees and special representatives can continue during this period. Read more ...

Intervention by the Italian Minister for European Affairs Amendola - Informal OSCE PA Leadership Meeting, 8 April 2020

  • Facebook
  • twir
  • in
  • inst
  • two
  • video