In Copenhagen, OSCE Parliamentary Assembly leadership hears reports on the war in Ukraine and discusses upcoming work

040422 Artur GerasymovArtur Gerasymov addresses the Bureau, 4 April 2022COPENHAGEN, 4 April 2022 – Meeting today at the Danish Parliament, the Bureau of the OSCE Parliamentary Assembly heard remarks from Ukrainian Ambassador to Denmark Mykhailo Vydoinyk and Vice-Chair of the OSCE PA economic and environmental committee Artur Gerasymov (MP, Ukraine) who reported on the situation in their country. Bureau members, Special Representatives and Heads of Delegations from the United Kingdom and Bulgaria discussed the ongoing Russian invasion and other international issues, heard reports from rapporteurs preparing resolutions for the Annual Session this summer in the UK, and debated the role of the OSCE in promoting peace and security in Europe.

Invited by OSCE PA President Margareta Cederfelt (MP, Sweden) to address the meeting, Ambassador Vydoinyk said that the Russian army is bombing residential areas in Ukraine and violating the Geneva Conventions, noting that every day brings new horrors of war to the Ukrainian people. “Pain, death and destruction – this is what Russia brought to Ukraine,” the ambassador said. He noted that for the sake of the European security system and international justice, those responsible must be held accountable.

Recalling that the war had already been going on in eastern Ukraine since 2014, Vice-Chair Gerasymov noted that the Ukrainian OSCE PA Delegation has been warning of escalation for the past eight years. He described the horrific toll on civilians that the war has taken since 24 February and urged OSCE parliamentarians to implement more sanctions, arguing that half-measures will only lead to further violence. He pointed out that the OSCE is based on both security and co-operation, and it is not possible to have one without the other.

President Cederfelt discussed the actions and activities that the OSCE PA has pursued, in line with its mandate, to contribute to the resolution of the conflict. She reported on recent activities of the PA, including the visit of several members last month to the Polish-Ukrainian border, and a high-level visit to the United States which included meetings with the U.S. OSCE PA Delegation and several UN ambassadors.

040422 Margareta CederfeltMargareta Cederfelt addresses the Bureau, 4 April 2022“In light of the negotiations between Ukraine and the Russian Federation, I hope that we can contribute to this process in the near future by offering our platform for dialogue,” Cederfelt said. She noted that refugees are now arriving all over Europe and appealed to parliamentarians to do what they can to welcome as many Ukrainians as possible.

Members raised concerns about the role of propaganda in this conflict and stressed the need to ensure legal accountability for alleged war crimes being committed in Ukraine. It was also emphasized that Europe should already be thinking about the post-war period and how to rebuild both Ukraine and the European security order. It was stressed that the OSCE must be strengthened to deal with crises such as these.

OSCE PA Secretary General Roberto Montella said that when it comes to Ukraine, the Assembly has been very clear in its messages of condemnation and active in the field, visiting the Polish-Ukrainian border. Acknowledging that there is a need for sanctions against the Russian Federation, he stressed however that the role that an organization like the OSCE plays is to facilitate dialogue, dialogue based on the commitments and values of the Helsinki Final Act.

In reports presented by committee rapporteurs regarding their work for the upcoming OSCE PA Annual Session, much of the focus remained on Ukraine, but also touched on other challenges facing the OSCE area. Russia’s invasion was denounced as unjustifiable and representing an unprecedented danger for all three dimensions of the comprehensive security – both for Ukraine and the OSCE region as a whole. Moscow was urged to respect the verdict of the International Court of Justice which ruled on 16 March that the justification for the war was without merit and ordered Russia to halt its military operation.

Austrian parliamentarian Gudrun Kugler, the Rapporteur of the economic and environmental committee, presented the preliminary report and draft resolution she has prepared for the Annual Session. Among the topics addressed by the rapporteur include combating corruption, the energy transition, combating human trafficking, sustainable development, climate change, demographic challenges, economic interdependence, and migration management. War, she pointed out, has a detrimental effect not only on humans, but also on the economy and the environment.

Human rights committee Rapporteur Johan Buser (MP, Sweden) highlighted humanitarian issues of the Russian invasion of Ukraine, including possible war crimes being committed. Another area of focus he brought attention to is the situation facing NGOs in the OSCE area, stressing the need to oppose the clampdown on civil society. For society to remain dynamic, he said, NGOs and journalists must remain independent and the state must ensure that it does not jeopardize civil society’s integrity.

Treasurer Peter Juel-Jensen presented a report on the OSCE PA finances, thanking all parliaments for their financial contributions. He also expressed gratitude to all countries that are hosting Ukrainian refugees and to the U.S. government, in particular, for its support of Europe in this challenging time.

The Bureau also heard reports on election observation missions, ad hoc committees and Special Representatives, as well as upcoming meetings of the Assembly, including the Annual Session this summer in Birmingham and the Autumn Meeting in Sofia. OSCE PA Vice-President Pia Kauma (MP, Finland) also announced an event in Helsinki to take place in September in the framework of the OSCE PA’s Call for Action – Helsinki +50 initiative on the role of OSCE in the new, challenging European security environment.



Nat Parry

Head of Communications and Press

Office: +45 33 37 80 55
Mobile: +45 60 10 81 77
Email: [email protected]

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