In Washington, OSCE PA President Kauma builds engagement on Ukraine and challenges facing the OSCE



020224 rm pk and wilsonSG Roberto Montella, President Pia Kauma and Chair of US Helsinki Commission Rep. Joe Wilson, Washington DC, 30 January 2024WASHINGTON, 2 February 2024 – OSCE Parliamentary Assembly President Pia Kauma (Finland) concluded a visit to Washington, DC, today, where she held meetings with congressional and governmental leaders, as well as civil society experts, in order to build engagement on priority issues for the OSCE. Topping the agenda were the Russian Federation’s war against Ukraine, strengthening the OSCE and its Parliamentary Assembly, security developments in South East Europe and possible OSCE election observation in the United States later this year.

Joined by OSCE PA Secretary General Roberto Montella, Kauma met with members of the U.S. Delegation to the OSCE PA, including Head of Delegation Joe Wilson and Deputy Head Ben Cardin, OSCE PA Vice-President Roger Wicker, OSCE PA Political Affairs Committee Chair Richard Hudson, and others. Discussions focused on ensuring support for Assembly priorities and maintaining open communication on European security through the OSCE. Given the mounting geopolitical challenges in the world, participants confirmed that continued engagement in the OSCE is critically important.

“In order to maintain support both for Ukraine and the OSCE as a forum for dialogue and conflict resolution, continued strong engagement from the United States is essential,” Kauma said today. “The longstanding commitment from the Americans in this organization, exemplified by the regular work performed by the U.S. Helsinki Commission and the U.S. Members’ participation in OSCE PA meetings and election observation missions, is always greatly appreciated.”

Earlier this week Kauma participated in a U.S. Helsinki Commission hearing in Congress focused on Russia’s abduction of thousands of Ukrainian children and adult civilians as part of its war on Ukraine. She stressed the importance of international co-operation in locating and repatriating those abducted, and of finding innovative ways to support Ukraine in its overall efforts.

020224 rm pk and cardinSG Roberto Montella, President Pia Kauma and US Sen. Ben Cardin, Washington DC, 30 January 2024Kauma informed her American counterparts on an upcoming visit that she is leading to Kyiv of the OSCE PA’s Parliamentary Support Team for Ukraine, which is intended to ensure that the war remains high on the international agenda and that the Assembly is working to effectively meet Ukrainian needs.

Other topics of discussion included institutional issues facing the OSCE. It was noted that short-term solutions are necessary to keep the organization functional, but ultimately long-term solutions and political commitment are needed to ensure a strong and effective organization. President Kauma also noted that part of this process must include contemplation on the PA’s role and functioning.

Discussions with representatives of the National Security Council and Council on Foreign Relations focused on challenges related to Russia’s war against Ukraine and its impact on the broader OSCE region.

In meetings with senior officials from the National Conference of State Legislatures and National Association of Secretaries of State, discussions focused on a possible election observation mission to the United States in November. The meetings provided a useful opportunity to consider co-operation with state and local officials related to observation on election day.

Secretary General Montella thanked the U.S. Delegation for its continued support for the Assembly and expressed his hope to see strong U.S. participation in next month’s Winter Meeting in Vienna.

Photos of the visit to Washington are available for public use 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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