PM at OSCE summit in Astana


1 December 2010

Astana-Kazakhstan (ANA-MPA/G. Milionis) -- A Summit meeting of the Organisation for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) opened at the Palace of Independence in the Kazakh capital Astana on Wednesday morning, with Greece represented by prime minister George Papandreou and foreign minister Dimitris Droutsas.

Papandreou on Wednesday held a series of bilateral meetings on the sidelines of the 2-day OSCE summit, the first to take place in 11 years, while the opening session was addressed by OSCE Parliamentary Assembly president Petros Efthymiou of Greece.

The Summit was opened by host country Kazakhstan's president Nursultan Nazarbayev, who called the gathering a "triumph of common sense" and urged the heads of state and government of the participating 56 OSCE member states to "advance together towards a secure future for our peoples".

OSCE Chairperson-in-Office, Kazakh secretary of state and foreign minister Kanat Saudabayev, urged the member states to "show the wisdom and courage of true leaders and reach consensus on the important issue of strengthening security and cooperation", while UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon commended the high level of cooperation in the OSCE area and the "new era of action and engagement", adding: "Not so long ago, few would have imagined the peoples of this vast area would be bound so closely together. In the process, the challenges have become more apparent. But so, too, have the impressive common achievements and enormous new horizons of change and opportunity."

"The entire planet, and not only the OSCE, is at a crossroads," OSCE Parliamentary Assembly president Petros Efthymiou stressed at the opening session of the Summit.

He referred to the identity crisis in the OSCE, which he attributed to a failure of the political dialogue among the member countries to lead the organisation in a common direction, and to a lack of mutual trust which, he warned, undermines the OSCE's ability to tackle a series of problems.

The Parliamentary Assembly chief said that change in the OSCE needs to begin with "real political initiatives" that will lead to building of confidence among the members and create a "community of security in the entire Euro-Atlantic and Eurasian region". Such a change must also, from here on, focus on results, he added, noting that "targeted action is not among our strong points".

Efthymiou stressed that a strong and effective Parliamentary Assembly is crucial for the organisation, given that the political dialogue promotes confidence, and underlined the need for better use of the Parliamentary Assembly by the OSCE structures.

Changes are also necessary in the decision-taking process in the OSCE, he added.

Efthymiou further underlined the need for the OSCE's existence, stressing that "if the OSCE did not exist, we would have had to invent it", adding that the process of revitalising the organisation has only started, "and the challenge at hand is analogous to the birth of our organisation" some 35 years ago.

"There is no doubt how much lies at stake here in Astana, and we don't have the luxury of letting it fail," he added.



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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