OSCE PA's Mediterranean Forum focuses on situation in the Middle East



YEREVAN, 20 November 2023 –  The OSCE Parliamentary Assembly's Mediterranean Forum was chaired today by French Senator Pascal Allizard, OSCE PA Special Representative on Mediterranean Affairs, and included remarks by OSCE PA President Kauma (Finland) and Chair of the OSCE Mediterranean Partners for Co-operation Group Vesa Häkkinen.

201123 medforum photoPascal Allizard chairs the Mediterranean Forum in Yerevan, 20 November 2023Special Representative Allizard argued that the Israel-Palestine conflict must be resolved on the basis of mutual security. “The only viable solution is a two-state solution,” Allizard said, “which requires the vital processes for peace and security that are laid out in the OSCE Helsinki Final Act and the United Nations Charter.”

Ambassador Häkkinen pointed out that the Mediterranean region is facing several cross-dimensional challenges, including the war sparked by Hamas’s terrorist attack on 7 October. The OSCE offers valuable tools, he said, noting that the OSCE Mediterranean partnership is an excellent platform for countering security threats.

The Mediterranean Forum also included addresses by parliamentary delegations from OSCE Mediterranean Partners for Co-operation.

In a video address, Speaker of the Knesset Amir Ohana described the atrocities of 7 October, noting that victims suffered torture and extreme violence. After these horrors, he said, Israel determined that it must act. “Israel has the obligation to ensure the safety and security of its citizens,” he said.

Fatima El Hassani, a member of Morocco’s Delegation, stressed that armed conflicts must provide full protection of civilians, a point that was reiterated in the general debate. The prolonged conflict in the Middle East is an obstacle to development and reaching other international goals, such as addressing climate change, parliamentarians said. There were also calls for the immediate release of all hostages being held by Hamas.

In her concluding remarks at the Mediterranean Forum, OSCE PA President Pia Kauma noted that Israel has the right to self-defense and its military operation must focus on disarming terrorist groups in full accordance with international humanitarian law. “We are all deeply concerned about the dire humanitarian situation in Gaza and its devastating effect on women and children in particular,” Kauma said. “It is our collective responsibility to protect human life and human dignity. Humanitarian pauses must allow assistance to reach those in need.”

For President Kauma's full remarks at the Mediterranean Forum, please click here.

For more information on the Autumn Meeting, including videos of the past three days of debate, please click here.

Photos are available for public use at 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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