OSCE Parliamentary Assembly Bureau members meet in Copenhagen to discuss the Russian Federation’s war against Ukraine and ongoing Assembly work

240423 bureau photoMargareta Cederfelt and Roberto Montella in Copenhagen, 24 April 2023COPENHAGEN, 24 April 2023 – Chaired by President Margaret Cederfelt (Sweden), the Bureau of the OSCE Parliamentary Assembly met today at the Danish Parliament to discuss reports from rapporteurs preparing resolutions for the Annual Session this summer in Vancouver, Canada, as well as current international developments and internal OSCE PA matters. With the backdrop of the Russian Federation’s ongoing war against Ukraine, OSCE parliamentarians debated the role of the OSCE in promoting peace and security in Europe, underlining the need for strengthening the organization so that it is able to deal effectively with challenges.

Following an introduction by President Cederfelt, Rapporteur of the Committee on Political Affairs and Security Laurynas Kasciunas (Lithuania) noted that his report and draft resolution will focus primarily on the Russian invasion of Ukraine, welcoming Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelinsky’s ten-point programme for peace and calling for unconditional withdrawal of Russian forces from all of Ukraine’s territory within its internationally recognized borders. Kasciunas also called for defining a strategy for preventing such a war in the future, stressing that the OSCE should conduct an assessment of its conflict prevention toolbox.

Rapporteur of the Committee on Economic Affairs, Science, Technology and Environment Gudrun Kugler (Austria) described the scope of her report and draft resolution, highlighting the wide range of topics covered. The economy of the OSCE region could be thriving, she said, noting the region’s high industrial capacity, but instead the war is squandering potential. The environmental impacts are also severe, Kugler noted. Security co-operation presupposes stable economies, the rapporteur explained, which means that there is a need to focus on securing peace and rebuilding destroyed infrastructure. Energy is the engine of economic growth and therefore needs to be affordable, Kugler underlined.

Rapporteur of the Committee on Democracy, Human Rights and Humanitarian Questions Johan Buser (Sweden) called for placing the victims of war at the center of the OSCE’s focus. He highlighted the plight of children impacted by the Russian Federation’s full-scale war against Ukraine as well as the crackdown on dissent within Russia, with the widespread arrests of anti-war protestors and other political prisoners. He also highlighted the situation for civil society more broadly in the OSCE region. In addition, Buser advocated the integration of human rights principles in the digital agenda and raised concerns over the implications of artificial intelligence.

240423 bureau photo 2The Assembly's Bureau meeting in the Danish Folketing, Copenhagen, 24 April 2023Bureau members provided feedback on the preliminary reports and draft resolutions, offering suggestions for strengthening language and demonstrating greater urgency on ensuring that the OSCE is able to carry out its mandate. Other issues highlighted by members included migration, COVID-19 recovery, misinformation on social media, the Ukrainian refugee crisis, the occupation of Georgian territory, and increased tensions between Armenia and Azerbaijan.

The Bureau heard reports on OSCE PA election observation activities, Ad Hoc Committees, and Special Representatives. Artur Gerasymov (Ukraine), Vice-Chair of the economic and environmental committee, joined by video link from Kyiv to brief the Bureau on the Ukrainian Delegation’s priorities, including its intention to pursue measures to punish OSCE participating States that commit grave breaches of the Helsinki Final Act through full-scale military invasions.

The Bureau meeting also included a discussion of internal OSCE PA administrative and financial questions. An outside, independent, professional auditor from Deloitte reported to the Bureau, noting that there are no qualifications that his firm has found and that the OSCE PA’s financial situation is in line with international standards. OSCE PA Treasurer Peter Juel-Jensen (Denmark) presented a report for the 2023-2024 budget, and the Bureau discussed the organization’s finances.

The Bureau meeting also included reports on upcoming meetings of the OSCE Parliamentary Assembly in 2023, including the 30th Annual Session on 30 June to 4 July in Vancouver.

Photos of the Bureau meeting 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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