In visit to Iceland, OSCE PA President Cederfelt discusses challenges to European security

190423 iceland visit photoBirgir Thórarinsson and Margareta CederfeltREYKJAVIK, 19 April 2023 – OSCE Parliamentary Assembly President Margareta Cederfelt (Sweden) has just wrapped up a visit to Iceland, where she met Tuesday with parliamentary and governmental leaders for talks on priority issues facing the OSCE region.

The Russian Federation’s war against Ukraine featured prominently in discussions, with President Cederfelt and her interlocutors noting the threats posed to the international system by the violations of key international commitments including the UN Charter and the Helsinki Final Act. This has had a serious impact on the OSCE and its Parliamentary Assembly, they noted, with shrinking room for dialogue and a growing inability to reach consensus.

Meeting with Speaker of the Althingi Birgir Ármansson and Minister for Foreign Affairs Þórdís Kolbrún Reykfjörð Gylfadóttir, President Cederfelt lauded the active participation of the Icelandic Delegation to the OSCE PA, including the work of Bryndís Haraldsdottir as Special Representative on Arctic Issues from August 2021 to January 2023. Cederfelt highlighted the Assembly’s enduring commitment to provide a space for all delegates, regardless of the size of the country, to engage in good faith-dialogue rooted in shared principles. The importance of keeping Arctic security on the agenda of the OSCE Parliamentary Assembly was emphasized in all meetings.

Cederfelt also met with the Icelandic OSCE PA Delegation, led by Birgir Thórarinsson. They discussed the impact of Russia’s war against Ukraine on the whole OSCE region, including on various aspects of Arctic security. President Cederfelt and the delegation also had a general discussion on relevant issues to be raised during upcoming OSCE PA meetings and expressed their deep concern over the news of Vladimir Kara-Murza’s imprisonment in Russia.

In discussions with Njáll Trausti Friðbertsson, Deputy Head of the Foreign Affairs Committee and Head of the Icelandic Delegation to the NATO Parliamentary Assembly, the sides discussed the possibility of enhanced co-operation and greater complementarity between the OSCE Parliamentary Assembly and NATO Parliamentary Assembly. They discussed the deteriorating security situation in the region as a result of the war in Ukraine. The importance of maintaining high-level political attention to multilateral organizations was also stressed.

Cederfelt noted the unique and important role of the OSCE. No organization is better placed than the OSCE to defend the European security order, President Cederfelt emphasized, and everything possible must be done to safeguard the work that has been done by the OSCE throughout its 57 participating States, and particularly in countries where it has field operations.

Meeting with former Minister for Foreign Affairs and former Director of the OSCE Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights Ingibjörg Sólrún Gísladóttir, Cederfelt discussed the OSCE’s work on election observation and democratic assistance.



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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