OSCE Parliamentary Assembly’s Annual Session opens in Bucharest with calls for peace and stability through multilateralism



290624 opening session speakersNicolae-Ionel Ciucă, Pia Kauma and Dan Barna in Bucharest, 29 June 2024BUCHAREST, 29 June 2024 – The OSCE Parliamentary Assembly’s 31st Annual Session opened today with speeches reaffirming the need to uphold international commitments by ensuring that the OSCE can deliver effectively on its mandate. Speaking at the opening session, President of the Senate of Romania Nicolae-Ionel Ciucă, Head of the Romanian Delegation to the OSCE PA Dan Barna and OSCE PA President Pia Kauma (Finland) recalled the enduring importance of dialogue, co-operation, and reaffirming the OSCE’s shared principles.

Opening the session, President Ciucă noted that the OSCE PA’s work in Bucharest will help advance international security. He focused on the security challenges resulting from the Russian Federation’s war against Ukraine, pointing out that the war has caused a fundamental rupture in the international order and underlining the need to support Ukraine’s ability to defend itself. The OSCE is playing a key role in building security, he said, noting that inaction would have dire long-term consequences. Romania, he said, will remain a partner in the OSCE’s mission, particularly by promoting the rights of minorities.

Barna, who serves as Vice-President of the Chamber of Deputies, said: “As firm supporters of democracy, peace, and stability, we are pleased to host the Annual Session of this prestigious Assembly at the Romanian Parliament, together with the Romanian delegation to the OSCE Parliamentary Assembly. During the OSCE PA session, we continue our efforts to support the Republic of Moldova and Ukraine in the context of Russian aggression, and we will discuss the situation in the Middle East. The OSCE’s work positively impacts the lives of over a billion people, both through political dialogue and practical activities, and I express my appreciation for the OSCE's autonomous institutions for their efforts to promote and protect human rights.”

Barna pointed out that in the coming days, the PA will adopt resolutions and decisions that will uphold common OSCE values, to be included in the Bucharest Declaration that will be voted on 3 July.

Just one year before the 50th anniversary of the OSCE’s founding document, the 1975 Helsinki Final Act, fulfilling the promises of this organization requires increased high-level focus on strengthening the OSCE so that it can respond to challenges from North America to Central Asia, it was underlined. This milestone must be an opportunity to reinvigorate parliamentarians’ commitment to the OSCE’s foundational values, President Kauma said.

Particularly important, Kauma stressed, is renewed focus on ending the war in Ukraine with full respect for the nation’s sovereignty and territorial integrity. “For over a decade, our Assembly has stood resolutely with Ukraine in the face of Russian aggression,” Kauma said. “The sovereignty and territorial integrity of Ukraine remain non-negotiable.”

Noting that the OSCE PA takes a holistic approach to security, President Kauma emphasized the need to counter hate crimes and violent extremism while promoting human rights. “Security is not just about the absence of armed conflicts,” she said. “True security also requires economic stability and a safe, sustainable environment. It hinges upon human rights, democracy, and the rule of law.”

She also discussed the war between Israel and Hamas, noting that the horror of the 7 October attacks last year and the ongoing loss of life in Gaza are tragedies that weigh heavily on the hearts of OSCE parliamentarians.

290624 ukrainians votingVoting in the plenary session, Bucharest, 29 June 2024Also in the plenary session today, OSCE parliamentarians considered two supplementary items: “Security and Geopolitical Challenges in the OSCE Region: Ten Years of Armed Aggression of the Russian Federation against Ukraine,” principally sponsored by Mykyta Poturaiev (Ukraine), and “The Deterioration of the Situation of Human Rights in the Transdniestrian Region of the Republic of Moldova,” principally sponsored by Veronica Rosca (Moldova). Both were adopted with overwhelming support.

Taking place at the Palace of Parliament in Bucharest, Romania, from 29 June to 3 July, the Annual Session is being held under the general theme “The Role of the OSCE in the Current Security Architecture: A Parliamentary Perspective.” Some 250 parliamentarians from North America, Europe and Central Asia are taking part in the event.

Earlier today, the Assembly’s Standing Committee met and re-elected OSCE PA Secretary General Roberto Montella for a third five-year term. His new mandate begins on 1 January 2026 and ends 31 December 2030.

The Standing Committee also allocated 16 supplementary items for debate in the general committees and plenary sessions. Among the topics to be debated and voted on are the new security challenges of artificial intelligence, disinformation and propaganda, climate change and water scarcity, countering the proliferation of fentanyl and other synthetic opioids, antisemitism in the OSCE region, corruption and foreign policy, migration, human trafficking, civil society, and environmental protection in armed conflicts.

Also on the agenda are meetings of the OSCE PA’s ad hoc committees dealing with migration issues, counter-terrorism and parliamentary support for Ukraine, as well as the annual working lunch on gender issues.

The Annual Session is streaming on the OSCE PA’s YouTube and Facebook channels, and photos of the meeting can be found on Flickr. Please visit the Annual Session’s web page for more information.



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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