PA leaders meet online for discussions on Assembly activities, international priorities and challenges facing OSCE

GT Bureau mtg 020920COPENHAGEN, 2 September 2020 – In an informal leadership meeting on Wednesday, the OSCE Parliamentary Assembly’s President, Secretary General and several Bureau members discussed developments in the OSCE area and PA activities. President George Tsereteli (Georgia) and Vice-President Margareta Cederfelt (Sweden) reported on the OSCE PA’s election observation in Montenegro this past weekend.

The President discussed the situation in Belarus, highlighting that he has exchanged with a number of OSCE PA Members regarding the ongoing situation there.

“I have been deeply disturbed by the excessive use of force against peaceful protesters, along with mass arrests and credible allegations of torture,” said Tsereteli. “I have made it clear that these repressive tactics should not be tolerated, and that Minsk should fully uphold its human rights commitments.” He also reiterated the PA’s offer to assist and to support genuine efforts for dialogue.

The President addressed issues related to the pandemic, stressing the need to show global unity and solidarity, discussed the continuous illegal borderization in Geogia, and touched on the recent escalation of the conflict over Nagorno-Karabakh, as well as the situation in eastern Ukraine. He welcomed the fact that in Ukraine, the longest ceasefire since the start of the hostilities continues to hold.

Members discussed the PA’s engagement on Nagorno-Karabakh conflict resolution, unrest in the United States, the COVID-19 situation, economic recovery, and avenues for engagement with Belarus.

Regarding heightened tensions between Azerbaijan and Armenia, OSCE PA Vice-President Azay Guliyev (Azerbaijan) mentioned letters he has sent to President Tsereteli and several Heads of OSCE PA Delegations seeking support for a just resolution to the Armenia-Azerbaijan conflict in accordance with principles of international law and the 1975 Helsinki Final Act. He also raised concerns about alleged attempts by Armenia to resettle Lebanese of Armenian origin to the Nagorno-Karabakh region, following the recent explosion in Beirut.

Members raised today’s announcement by Germany that it has “unequivocal evidence” that Russian opposition figure Alexei Navalny was poisoned by a chemical nerve agent from the Novichok group. Calling it a major cause for concern, Bureau members stressed that the PA must unambiguously condemn such acts. Michael Link (Germany), Vice-Chair of the OSCE PA’s human rights committee, called upon Moscow to not further criminalize political opposition in Russia and to open up for a serious investigation of Navalny’s poisoning.

Secretary General Roberto Montella provided an update on the institutional crisis within OSCE, with vacancies of in the positions of OSCE Secretary General and Heads of Institutions temporarily filled by deputies until the December Ministerial Council. Montella reported that former OSCE Secretary General and High Commissioner on National Minorities Lamberto Zannier has joined the staff of the PA to engage in quiet diplomacy to help build support for the OSCE among governments and parliaments and to develop structured proposals to Foreign Ministers of OSCE countries.

Ambassador Zannier said that it is important to turn initiatives into political processes. Members of the PA can help try to reach the ministers, he said, and to go through the issues to identify the top priorities, as well as determine the most effective processes to engage ministers on these issues.

OSCE PA leaders welcomed Zannier to the PA and expressed support for Secretary General Montella’s initiatives to engage the governmental side at a high political level in order to increase the attention paid to the Organization.



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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