OSCE’s potential can only be reached with political support of parliamentarians, PA President Cederfelt tells speakers of parliament in Athens

MC in Athens 221021Margareta Cederfelt addresses speakers of parliament in Athens, 22 Oct. 2021ATHENS, 22 October 2021 – Speaking today at the European Conference of Presidents of Parliament in Athens, OSCE Parliamentary President Margareta Cederfelt (Sweden) called for greater attention to the OSCE from national parliaments and governments. She highlighted next month’s UN Climate Change Conference as an example of how countries need to work closely together to meet global problems, and stressed that despite recent setbacks and challenges in the international arena, there is a need for more solidarity and co-operation, not a retreat to unilateralism.

“We need to keep discussions about international challenges on our domestic agendas,” Cederfelt said to more than 40 speakers of parliament in attendance. “We need to highlight the work of the OSCE in our national debates. And we need to regularly question our governments on the implementation of their international commitments.”

She added that without the political support of parliaments, the full potential of parliamentary diplomacy and the achievements of international organizations will remain limited, arguing that parliaments must make room for political discussions about the work of the OSCE and other international organizations.

Organized by the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe and the Hellenic Parliament, the two-day conference has covered topics such as how democracies are coping with the COVID-19 public health crisis and how national parliaments can help build a healthy and sustainable environment. President Cederfelt spoke at a panel on the “common future of all European citizens” and noted that both the Council of Europe and the OSCE have kept the search for international co-operation at their core. “This has helped our region and our member countries deal with a multitude of old and emerging challenges,” she said.

On the sidelines of the conference, President Cederfelt held a series of bilateral meetings, including with speakers of parliament from Moldova, Armenia, Azerbaijan, and the United Kingdom. Cederfelt also participated in a gender networking event, highlighting the role of parliaments in empowering female leaders.

Meeting with Azerbaijan’s Milli Majlis Speaker Sahiba Gafarova, President Cederfelt discussed the work of the OSCE PA and ways parliamentarians can support regional peace processes. In a meeting with President of National Assembly of the Republic of Armenia Alen Simonyan, Cederfelt highlighted ways the OSCE PA can support the reform agenda as well as promote reconciliation efforts in the South Caucasus.

In a bilateral with Moldova’s Parliament President Igor Grosu, discussions focused on developments in Moldova since the July 2021 parliamentary elections. The sides explored avenues for co-operation between the PA and the Parliament of Moldova on Moldovan priorities such as electoral reform.

A meeting with Sir Lindsay Hoyle, Speaker of the United Kingdom’s House of Commons, included discussions on the upcoming OSCE PA Annual Session in Birmingham. President Cederfelt also expressed the condolences offered by OSCE PA Members on the killing of British MP David Amess last week.

Former OSCE PA President Petros EfthymiouFormer OSCE PA President Petros Efthymiou and Roberto Montella, Athens, 21 October 2021President Cederfelt was in Athens with OSCE PA Secretary General Roberto Montella. On Thursday, Montella met with current Members of the OSCE PA’s Greek Delegation, former OSCE PA President Petros Efthymiou as well as former PA Member and current Greek Minister of Interior Makis Voridis for discussions on geopolitical challenges, including climate change and migration. Discussions focused on where parliamentary bodies can have an impact on resolution of these issues.

SG Montella also participated in a meeting with Secretaries General of parliaments today, at which he described the OSCE PA’s evolution from an Assembly consisting primarily of statutory meetings to one that is active on many fronts. With members active in election observation, ad hoc committees and as special representatives, the challenge now is to recalibrate on where the OSCE PA can be most impactful with its limited resources, Montella said.

President Cederfelt's full remarks are available here

For official photos from the conference, 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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