RESOLUTION ON ENHANCING CROSS-BORDER CO-OPERATION POLICIES IN POST CONFLICT SCENARIOS

    1. Recognizing the historic role played by the OSCE under Chapter VIII of the United Nations Charter in the peaceful settlement of conflicts and in the promotion of security in its area of influence,
    2. Considering its vast experience in prevention, analysis, early warning, reaction, promotion of dialogue, support of mediation, establishment of a security environment, post-conflict rehabilitation, stabilization, confidence-building and reconstruction, namely, in all stages of a crisis cycle,
    3. Recalling successive documents which have shaped the OSCE's analysis in the field of post-conflict rehabilitation, from the Budapest Document of December 1994, up to and including the OSCE's Strategy to Address Threats to Security and Stability in the Twenty-First Century of 2003,
    4. Fully aware of its already comprehensive range of activities in post-conflict periods, such as the restoration of institutionality, judicial and electoral reforms, human rights empowerment, handling of inter-ethnic conflicts, educational reforms, protection of the rights of national minorities and economic recovery,
    5. In the framework of the Decision by the Ministerial Council No 3/11, Elements of the Conflict Cycle, adopted in Vilnius, and the tasking of the Secretary General to draft a proposal on how to make better use of the possible contributions of the OSCE Parliamentary Assembly in developing a more effective response to emerging crisis and conflict situations,
    6. Acknowledging the essential and specialized role played in this respect by the Conflict Prevention Centre, both in practical terms and in the reflection on these matters, by itself and together with interested participating States,
    7. Also considering the experience of the Non-Military Confidence-Building Measures (CBMs), despite being aware of their limitations,
    8. Stressing the conflict prevention role of a border policy in which human, social and economic bonds represent a network of common interests that will make it difficult to break the peaceful status quo,
    9. Considering the crucial role of a comprehensive border policy in the final stage of conflicts, not only from the point of view of security or delimitation, but also from that of socio-economic development, restoration of confidence, rebuilding of economic activity, protection and, where necessary, integration of cultural or national minorities affected by the border itself,
    10. Taking into account the instrumental role of local and regional authorities in realistic on the-ground enforcement of high level international or bilateral agreements for the stabilization and normalization of the life of the peoples of post-conflict border areas,
    11. Considering the vast experience of many participating States and their administrative bodies in cross-border co-operation policies, not only within the EU political and legal framework, where 50 years' experience has shown the legitimate role of border policies in the regional integration process itself, but also in other bilateral or regional integration fields, of a different scale and model but still within the OSCE's scope,
    12. Considering likewise the experience obtained in this regard by other international bodies, such as the Council of Europe, and other specialized associations, such as the Association of European Border Regions, which has the most comprehensive database on good practices concerning cross-border co-operation in all types of borders, inside and outside Europe,

The OSCE Parliamentary Assembly:

    1. Underlines the need for wider consideration and a broader concept of the border situation in post-conflict situations within the framework of the network of the OSCE's bodies;
    2. Calls for a definition of borders, in general terms and more particularly in the case of those which have been conflict scenarios, that goes beyond merely security aspects and takes into account human development and social and economic aspects;
    3. Thus demands that the role of international institutions does not end when the direct and present threats of violence disappear, but when a border interconnection level has been reached which makes it politically burdensome to resort to conflict and to the logic of confrontation;
    4. Also calls for a general definition of cross-border co-operation policies as a means to prevent conflicts and to legitimize economic and political integration processes, whether multilateral or bilateral, which constitute the best guarantee in the face of temptations to settle disputes through non peaceful means;
    5. Calls for OSCE's post-conflict structures to take into account all the experience obtained in the field of cross-border co-operation by participating States and by their administrations, as well as that of other international organizations and specialized associations;
    6. Urges local and regional authorities to play a special role in confidence-building in post conflict borders, in close co-operation with national authorities, since their proximity to the directly affected peoples affords them greater political legitimacy and visibility.