Governments should utilize OSCE’s full toolbox, says PA President Muttonen at informal ministerial meeting in Potsdam

2016 IMC Potsdam Christine Muttonen2Christine Muttonen (front row, right) poses for a family photo at the informal OSCE meeting of Foreign Ministers in Potsdam on 1 September 2016.POTSDAM, 1 September 2016 – Speaking today at an informal meeting of OSCE Foreign Ministers in Potsdam, Germany, Parliamentary Assembly President Christine Muttonen (MP, Austria) urged intensified efforts at diplomacy and confidence-building, stressing that governments should make full use of the OSCE’s instruments to address common challenges.

“Challenges need solutions, and we are fortunate to have a range of tools in the OSCE to move us further forward in many areas,” she said.

The President urged all countries to look to the OSCE, its field missions and all of its institutions – including its Parliamentary Assembly – as valuable resources.

“The various structures of the OSCE continue to deliver excellent results across the 57 participating States,” she said. “The organization’s tools and services are largely underused, but remain a strong potential in the hands of all of us. From border-guard training to trial monitoring, from election observation to countering terrorism financing, we can all benefit from its work.”

She stressed the value in particular of the Assembly that she leads, which she pointed out harnesses the expertise and abilities of more than 300 experienced politicians. The PA, she said, has the unique ability to react rapidly to crises, citing for example the establishment of the OSCE PA’s Ad Hoc Committee on Migration earlier this year.

“While the OSCE Parliamentary Assembly’s focus is on political dialogue – such as organizing talks between parliamentarians from Russia and Ukraine – we also benefit from great flexibility for targeted work,” she said. She highlighted in particular the PA’s recent visit to Turkey in response to the attempted coup on 15 July.

The President noted that she led a high-level delegation to Turkey last month to follow up on the coup attempt and its aftermath, emphasizing the importance of standing with Turkey and its people at this difficult time. It is important that the coup plotters be brought to justice, she said, but noted that many of the reactions by the Turkish government have been seen as problematic. She encouraged the Turkish authorities to make full use of the OSCE’s trial monitoring expertise.

Muttonen spoke during the first session of the informal ministerial meeting, which was convened by the OSCE German Chairmanship to develop dialogue on the political level in response to the current security situation in the OSCE area.

Ahead of the meeting, OSCE Chairman-in-Office and German Foreign Minister Frank Walter Steinmeier stressed the urgency of promoting solutions to common challenges. “In today’s world, which is plagued by many crises, the OSCE may be more important than ever – in managing the crises in eastern Ukraine, Transdniestria and Nagorno-Karabakh, as well as other conflicts in Europe, and with a view to maintaining peace and security in general,” he said.

The meeting is intended to serve as preparation for the OSCE Ministerial Council, which will be held at the beginning of December in Hamburg. President Muttonen is accompanied in Potsdam by OSCE PA Secretary General Roberto Montella, the PA’s Special Representative Amb. Andreas Nothelle, and her senior advisor from the Austrian parliament, Lukas Mussi.



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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