OSCE PA President Efthymiou calls for OSCE to break routine at Ministerial Council

2011-MC-Vilnius-Efthymiou-speechOSCE PA President Petros Efthymiou speaks at the OSCE Ministerial Council, 6 December 2011, in Vilnius.VILNIUS, 6 December 2011 – Speaking today at the OSCE Ministerial Council in Vilnius, Lithuania, OSCE Parliamentary Assembly President Petros Efthymiou said that having an organization which links Europe with Asia and North America using the working methods of the OSCE is needed for the present and the future.

"In order to be seen as an asset by the international public, this organization has to make greater efforts to be effective and visible by taking relevant and timely political action," he said, addressing foreign ministers from across the 56-country region. "Our worst enemy is routine," he added, "often enough our routine proceedings suffocate us and limit our ability to come up with visions for the future."

The president highlighted the vital work being done by the OSCE's field operations, and called for the full funding of these operations.

"The field presences are the backbone of our OSCE," he said. "I repeat that it is crucial to find the political will to re-open OSCE offices in Georgia and Belarus. We continue to offer parliamentary dialogue in order to help Belarus uphold its OSCE commitments."

Maintaining that the OSCE Permanent Council needs further reform, Efthymiou pointed out that at the OSCE PA's Annual Session in Belgrade, the parliamentarians urged the Permanent Council to make meetings open to public and press on an ad hoc basis.

"Meeting exclusively behind closed doors is detrimental to our transparency and our public image," Efthymiou said. "If meetings were open to the public, countries blocking consensus would have to do so in the face of public scrutiny."

The Ministerial Council is the central decision-making and governing body of the OSCE. The meeting, held annually, provides the foreign ministers of the 56 OSCE participating States with an opportunity to review and assess the Organization's activities during the past year and offer national viewpoints on security matters.

The OSCE Parliamentary Assembly is comprised of 320 parliamentarians from 55 countries spanning Europe, Central Asia and North America. The Assembly provides a forum for parliamentary diplomacy, monitors elections, and strengthens international cooperation to uphold commitments on political, security, economic, environmental and human rights issues.



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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