PA Secretary General and Albanian Acting Minister for Europe and Foreign Affairs discuss issues facing OSCE Chairmanship

Roberto Montella and Gent CakajRoberto Montella and Gent CakajCOPENHAGEN, 8 July 2020 – OSCE matters ranging from the valuable work of the field operations and conflict resolution efforts to budgetary issues and political deadlock were in focus today during a bilateral meeting between OSCE Parliamentary Assembly Secretary General Roberto Montella and Albania’s Acting Minister for Europe and Foreign Affairs Gent Cakaj.

Montella welcomed the excellent co-operation the PA enjoys with the Albanian OSCE Chairmanship and praised Albania’s leadership in guiding the OSCE in difficult times. In addition to a devastating earthquake that hit central Albania earlier this year, the Albanian Chairmanship has also been marked by challenges such as the COVID-19 pandemic, ongoing conflicts and internal OSCE issues related to the budget and senior leadership positions, Montella noted.

Cakaj said that the parliamentary dimension of the OSCE is crucial and expressed appreciation for the PA’s work in ensuring the implementation of OSCE commitments in all three dimensions. He noted the meaning for Albania in holding the Chairmanship, as a country that has evolved from being politically isolated during the communist era, to being itself a beneficiary of the OSCE’s field work and now chairing the Organization. Cakaj stressed that this not only demonstrates Albania’s progress but also the value of the OSCE.

The sides discussed political challenges that the OSCE faces, including ensuring that the Organization is not left with a leadership vacuum in times when leadership is most needed, and urged that agreement is reached in a spirit of co-operation which is more required than ever in this time of crisis. All 57 OSCE participating States should commit to building dialogue through the forum provided by the OSCE, Montella and Cakaj agreed. While unpredictable challenges have made the management of the Chairmanship more difficult, a renewed strong commitment to address all issues, especially with the COVID-19 pandemic exacerbating problems and increasing hybrid threats, is vital, they said.

Montella briefed Cakaj on recent OSCE PA activities, including Tuesday’s virtual Standing Committee meeting, the series of Parliamentary Web Dialogues the Assembly has held during the COVID crisis, and its online regional meetings. He underlined the value of the PA as a forum to build confidence, trust and respect among parliamentarians from countries in difficult circumstances, and emphasized that the success of a Chairmanship is based on its capacity to maintain a high level of political engagement of governments in the work of the OSCE.

Cakaj noted that despite the challenges of this year, the Chairmanship has adapted well and intends to hold a physical Ministerial Council meeting in Albania this December. He highlighted a number of the Chairmanship’s priorities including cybercrime and hybrid threats, which he noted will continue to feature high on the agenda after the COVID crisis.

Montella offered the PA’s congratulations on the political consensus reached by the political parties on electoral reform in Albania, given the importance of this reform for the country’s EU accession negotiation process, welcomed Albania’s declared will to change anti-defamation legislation in line with recommendations of the OSCE Representative for Freedom of Media and the Venice Commission, and commended the steady progress of crucial reforms in the country, such as the justice reform and the fight against organized crime.

Photos of Gent Cakaj's visit to the OSCE PA International Secretariat are available on Flickr.



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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