OSCE PA calls for Belarus to observe its international obligations

COPENHAGEN, 7 January 2011 – OSCE Parliamentary Assembly President Petros Efthymiou today called for the OSCE field presence in Belarus – the OSCE Office in Minsk – to be allowed to continue under its established mandate. Belarusian authorities announced last week that they would not agree to an extension of the Office’s mandate, forcing the closure of the mission.

“The work of this OSCE Office is relevant now more than ever. The OSCE field mission in Belarus is key to maintaining a constructive dialogue with the Organization, and therefore its closure should be averted and we will strive to this end,” said President Efthymiou.

As President Efthymiou pointed out, “following the OSCE’s critical assessment of the presidential elections, as expressed by the Special Co-ordinator of the Chairmanship-in-Office and Member of the Parliamentary Assembly, British parliamentarian Tony Lloyd, the elections and their aftermath – particularly the continuing detention of presidential candidates and new detentions and raids targeting the media – represent a step backwards in the development of democratic governance in Belarus. Therefore, we stand ready to assist the efforts of the Lithuanian Chairmanship to promote constructive political dialogue with the Government of Belarus, in order to facilitate the resumption of the mission of the OSCE’s Office in Minsk.”

In Astana, Belarus and 55 other participating States stressed the importance of the work carried out by “the OSCE field operations, in accordance with their respective mandates, in assisting participating States with implementing their OSCE commitments.”

“Much work clearly remains to be done. The OSCE Office in Minsk must be able to resume its work under the established mandate, and be allowed to continue to monitor and report accurately the set objectives,” concluded Efthymiou.



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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