Far-reaching action needed in world ‘spiralling out of control,’ OSCE PA President tells foreign ministers

2015 MC KanervaOSCE PA President Ilkka Kanerva (center) ahead of his address to the Ministerial Council, alongside OSCE Representative on Freedom of the Media Dunja Mijatovic (left) and OSCE Secretary General Lamberto Zannier, 3 December 2015.

BELGRADE, 3 December 2015 – Far-reaching action by the international community is needed to deal with a world that “sometimes seems to be spiralling out of control,” OSCE Parliamentary Assembly President Ilkka Kanerva (MP, Finland) said today in an address to foreign ministers assembled in Belgrade at the 2015 OSCE Ministerial Council.

Read the full speech here.

Referring in particular to the situation in and around Ukraine, the migrants crisis and the threat of terrorism, President Kanerva emphasized the urgent need to find compromises.

“If I could give a voice to the some one billion people represented by the membership of the Parliamentary Assembly, I would say: ‘Please, roll up your sleeves and do more to help us.’

“If we can’t take far-reaching action now – as the Helsinki Final Act turns 40 and as threats rattle the very foundations of our security – then when can we?” President Kanerva said.

Regarding Ukraine, and referencing his recent visit to Donetsk, the President expressed concern that the situation in the east of the country could be returning to a “ceasefire in name only.”

He noted the Parliamentary Assembly’s Helsinki Declaration and its emphasis on the need for access by OSCE monitors to the entirety of Ukraine’s eastern border.

“This would have a very positive impact on our efforts to promote confidence-building, trust and dialogue,” President Kanerva said, also referring to the PA’s continuing efforts to bring Russian and Ukrainian parliamentarians together.

In order to better respond to the crisis of migrants and refugees currently impacting the OSCE area, the President proposed the creation of a co-ordinating position within the Organization, whose work could be supported by a network of focal points from each OSCE body.

On 2 December the elected leadership of the Assembly convened in Belgrade to discuss a range of issues related to the crisis and the OSCE’s response.

On terrorism, the President noted the Assembly’s calls this year for increased efforts to cut off its financial lifelines and address its root causes.

He noted, however, that if the OSCE is to take more action in addressing the wide range of today’s security challenges, it must pursue Organizational reform.

“We must modernize the OSCE. Let me encourage all of us to consider the array of suggestions the Assembly has offered this year for the kind of reform that is essential, including modification of consensus-bound decision-making to enable swifter action; increasing investment in our field presences; and more openly addressing human rights issues,” President Kanerva said.

The President thanked the 2015 Serbian Chairmanship of the OSCE for its work under demanding circumstances and looked forward to strong co-operation between the Assembly and the incoming German Chairmanship in the year ahead.



Nat Parry

Head of Communications and Press

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

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