OSCE parliamentarians to focus on Russia’s war against Ukraine at Winter Meeting in Vienna

COPENHAGEN, 6 February 2023 – The OSCE Parliamentary Assembly’s 22nd Winter Meeting will take place on 23 and 24 February in Vienna, Austria, and will stream live at www.oscepa.org and on the PA’s Facebook and YouTube channels.

Opening on the morning of 23 February with speeches by President of the Austrian National Council Wolfgang Sobotka, President of the OSCE Parliamentary Assembly Margareta Cederfelt, and other OSCE officials, the meeting will also include sessions of the three general committees and a number of side events.

To begin preliminary work on the draft resolutions and reports being prepared by Committee Rapporteurs for this summer’s Annual Session in Vancouver, the PA general committees will be briefed by high-ranking OSCE officials and Committee Chairs.

In accordance with the Assembly’s Rules of Procedure and following a long-established practice of holding the Winter Meeting on the Thursday and Friday of the fourth week of February, the OSCE PA’s meeting happens to fall on the one-year anniversary of the Russian Federation’s full-scale invasion of Ukraine. Last year, the meeting coincided with Russian forces crossing the border of Ukraine, which prompted the parliamentarians to express overwhelming opposition to the incursion and deep concern for the lives of civilians.

This year, the theme for the general debate on 24 February will be “One Year In: Russia’s Continued Full-Scale War on Ukraine.” The debate will include addresses by OSCE PA Special Representatives: on Eastern Europe Daniela De Ridder, on Parliamentary Dialogue on Ukraine Reinhold Lopatka, on Political Prisoners Steve Cohen; as well as Chair of the OSCE PA Ad Hoc Committee on Migration Mark Pritchard, and Special Rapporteur on War Crimes in Ukraine John Whittingdale.

The Austria-OSCE Headquarters Agreement require Austria to facilitate the entry of delegations of participating States for OSCE meetings, which means that the issuance of visas is not a matter of discretion, but a question of a legal obligation. Consequently, the Winter Meeting is expected to include participation by the Russian and Belarusian delegations. In a media advisory issued last week, the Austrian Ministry of Foreign Affairs clarified that the “required visas will only be valid for the territory of Austria and limited to the duration of the Winter Meeting of the OSCE Parliamentary Assembly.”

Due to the logistical and security arrangements, access to the Winter Meeting will be restricted. Media inquiries may be directed to [email protected].

For further information and the full programme for the Winter Meeting, 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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