OSCE PA leaders call for enhancing political commitment, revitalizing trust and co-operation on the eve of the Paris Charter’s 30th anniversary

Kristian Vigenin at Security DaysKristian Vigenin speaks at Security Days event, 16 October 2020COPENHAGEN, 16 October 2020 – Leaders of the Parliamentary Assembly took part today in a timely event organized by the OSCE to mark the 30th anniversary of the Charter of Paris for a New Europe, which was adopted at a summit meeting in November 1990. Declaring that “the era of confrontation and division of Europe has ended,” the Charter envisioned “a new era of democracy, peace and unity,” and provided for the institutionalization of the OSCE.

Today’s event focused on the theme of “Revitalizing Trust and Co-operation in Europe: Lessons of the Paris Charter” and featured the participation of the Minister of Foreign and European Affairs of the Slovak Republic, Ivan Korčok, as well as other high-level officials and practitioners who were involved in the adoption of the Paris Charter 30 years ago. Keynote speakers included James A. Baker III, former U.S. Secretary of State under President George H. W. Bush; Ambassador Wolfgang Friedrich Ischinger, who was part of the German delegation at the Paris Summit; Ambassador Tuula Yrjölä, OSCE Officer in Charge/SG; Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Czech Republic, Martin Povejšil, and Ambassador Igli Hasani, Chairperson of the Permanent Council.

Former OSCE Secretary General and High Commissioner on National Minorities Lamberto Zannier, who currently serves as OSCE PA High-Level Expert, spoke at Session 2, “The future of comprehensive and co-operative security in the OSCE area, three decades after the Paris Charter.”

Lamberto Zannier Security DaysLamberto Zannier addresses the OSCE Security Days event, 16 October 2020Zannier noted that signs of dividing lines in the OSCE area began to emerge soon after the initially optimistic period in the early 1990s, with several groupings competing with each other and resulting at the end of the decade with a security space that was not reflective of the original vision of the Paris Charter. He pointed out however that there continued to be many examples of successful engagement. Despite political divisions, the OSCE has been able to engage in areas where other international organizations could not, Amb. Zannier pointed out, for example successfully facilitating dialogue in a number of hotspots and crisis situations over the years.

He argued that in order to continue to do so, greater political support is needed from the OSCE participating States, highlighting in this regard his work with the OSCE Parliamentary Assembly to build a higher level of political attention to the organization. “It’s when ministers get engaged that things get done,” Zannier said.

OSCE PA Vice-President Victor Paul Dobre (Romania) took the floor in the first session, held under the theme “The Paris Charter as an inspiration: Highlights and turning points of the negotiations, which lead to the unprecedented convergence between East and West.” Dobre spoke about enhancing the parliamentary dimension of the OSCE and emphasized the need to increase the political commitment to the OSCE at the ministerial level.

OSCE PA Vice-President Kristian Vigenin (Bulgaria) spoke at Session 3, “Lessons learned, best practices and future perspectives.” Vigenin described the Parliamentary Assembly as vital forum for sharing best practices and exercising oversight of policymaking. He noted the important role played by parliamentarians, who facilitate dialogue between international and national levels and scrutinize their national governments for compliance with OSCE commitments. He also noted that the Assembly has offered over the years many ideas for strengthening the organization, calling the PA a “forward-looking driver of development of the OSCE.”

OSCE PA Secretary General Roberto Montella also addressed the event, underlining the importance of finding creative ways to focus the attention of the foreign ministers on the OSCE. He highlighted his own experience working in OSCE field operations and directly seeing the many benefits that the OSCE delivers to the “end users of the OSCE product” – i.e. the citizens of OSCE participating States.

To watch the Security Days event, please click here.



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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