OSCE PA President Cederfelt appoints Special Representatives to promote engagement on pressing regional and topical issues

COPENHAGEN, 20 August 2021 – OSCE Parliamentary Assembly President Margareta Cederfelt (Sweden) has appointed Special Representatives to cover existing portfolios as well as several new ones. The Special Representatives will serve as focal points for the PA’s work in geographical regions and on topical concerns, provide advice, and report on developments to the President and the Assembly as a whole.

OSCE PA Vice-President Pia Kauma (Finland) has been appointed Special Representative on Central Asia, with a mandate to encourage active participation by parliamentarians from Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, and Uzbekistan, as well as Mongolia, in the work of the OSCE Parliamentary Assembly. As Special Representative, she will also encourage closer contacts between the parliaments in the region to promote greater intra-regional co-operation in all three OSCE dimensions.

Former OSCE PA Vice-President and Rapporteur of the human rights committee Kari Henriksen (Norway) has been designated Special Representative on the South Caucasus. Her mandate includes following the overall political situation in the region and seeking to promote dialogue in all segments of society, in particular at the parliamentary level, in order to encourage resolution of the protracted conflicts in the region.

OSCE PA Vice-President Azay Guliyev (Azerbaijan) will serve as Special Representative on South East Europe, with a mandate to promote dialogue in all segments of society, including at the parliamentary level, to encourage reconciliation in South East Europe, and in particular in the Western Balkans. He is also tasked with making contributions to the transformation and building up of democratic institutions.

Bryndis Haraldsdottir (Iceland) has been appointed Special Representative on Arctic Issues, to raise awareness in the OSCE Parliamentary Assembly regarding challenges facing this vulnerable region, particularly climate change and security.

Cypriot parliamentarian Kyriakos Hadjiyianni has been appointed Special Representative on Civil Society Engagement, in order to promote co-operation and serve as a focal point for engagement between the OSCE PA and representatives of civil society and non-governmental organizations. Hadjiyianni has previously served as Rapporteur and Chair of the OSCE PA’s human rights committee.

Several Special Representatives have also been reappointed.

Ben Cardin (United States) will continue to serve as Special Representative on Anti-Semitism, Racism and Intolerance, a role he has filled since 2015. Oscar Mina (San Marino) has been reappointed Special Representative on Disinformation and Propaganda, along with Hedy Fry (Canada) as Special Representative on Gender Issues, Christopher Smith (United States) as Special Representative on Human Trafficking Issues, and Vice-President Irene Charalambides (Cyprus) as Special Representative on Fighting Corruption.

OSCE PA Vice-President Daniela De Ridder (Germany) has been reappointed Special Representative on Eastern Europe, with a mandate to co-ordinate with relevant domestic and international actors in order to lend the PA’s contribution in the spheres of parliamentary diplomacy, confidence building, reconciliation and dialogue facilitation.

Vice-President Pascal Allizard (France) will continue to serve as OSCE PA Special Representative on Mediterranean Affairs, with a view towards enhancing the Mediterranean dimension of the Assembly’s work.

The newly created positions include a Special Representative on Sustainable Development Goals, a position that will be filled by OSCE PA Vice-President Askar Shakirov (Kazakhstan). In this role, Shakirov will promote the Assembly’s engagement on issues related to achieving the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals and Agenda 2030, reporting to the President and Standing Committee.

Farah Karimi (The Netherlands) will serve as the OSCE PA’s first Special Representative on Youth Engagement. She will represent the Assembly at events focused on youth issues, promote engagement with young people in OSCE PA activities, and work to advance OSCE values with youth.

The OSCE PA’s first Special Representative on Elderly Issues will be Paola Taverna (Italy). She was appointed by President Cederfelt to promote OSCE PA engagement on issues facing senior citizens in the OSCE area.

The OSCE PA International Secretariat, led by Secretary General Roberto Montella, works with the national parliaments in supporting the work of the Special Representatives.



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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