RESOLUTION ON STRENGTHENING SECURITY IN THE BORDER AREAS OF THE OSCE REGION

    1. Reaffirming the OSCE as a regional arrangement under Chapter VIII of the United Nations Charter and as a primary organization for the peaceful settlement of disputes within its region, and stressing that the OSCE continues to play an important role in creating a secure and stable space in the OSCE region,
    2. Noting that the OSCE is a key instrument for early warning, conflict prevention, crisis management and post-conflict rehabilitation,
    3. Taking into account the OSCE's Strategy to Address Threats to Security and Stability in the Twenty-First Century,
    4. Recognizing the importance of international law and the Helsinki Final Act of 1975 with regard to the territorial integrity of the OSCE participating States, pursuant to which the delimitation and demarcation of borders depend primarily on the sovereign decisions of States,
    5. Aware that ongoing conflicts in border areas undermine sovereignty, impede sustainable development and hinder bilateral and regional co-operation,
    6. Concerned that unresolved conflicts in the OSCE region pose a threat to compliance with OSCE principles and have an impact on peace and stability at local, regional and international levels,
    7. Recognizing that the demarcation and delimitation of borders can contribute to the development of friendly relations among States at both governmental and local levels,
    8. Bearing in mind the effective role of local and regional authorities in the implementation of multilateral and bilateral agreements aimed at stabilizing and improving the lives of people in disputed border areas,
    9. Given the experience gained in this area by international organizations, such as the European Union and the Council of Europe, as well as other specialized bodies, such as the Association of European Border Regions, which has an extensive database on best practices in transboundary co-operation at all types of borders in Europe and beyond,
    10. Bearing in mind the situation in the border areas of the OSCE participating States,

The OSCE Parliamentary Assembly:

    1. Urges the OSCE participating States to promote a political dialogue on border issues in order to ensure security, stability and prosperity in the region;
    2. Calls on the OSCE participating States to continue to work actively on the delimitation and demarcation of State borders;
    3. Calls on the OSCE participating States to refrain from carrying out construction work or engaging in business activities in disputed border areas until the process of delimitation and demarcation of State borders is completed;
    4. Calls for the establishment of joint commissions to investigate conflict situations in disputed border areas and for the formation of joint border-guard units;
    5. Requests that weapons not be used against persons who attempt to violate regulations governing the crossing of State borders if they do not constitute a danger to the lives of border guards or others;
    6. Welcomes the opening of training centres for border officials, and calls for dialogue and negotiations to promote the peaceful settlement of problems that arise between States in border areas;
    7. Stresses the need for a rapid exchange of information, through diplomatic channels as well as at the level of authorized State bodies and local authorities, on situations that could lead to a crisis at State borders or in border areas;
    8. Recommends that the OSCE participating States conduct activities aimed at raising the awareness of the local inhabitants of border areas and organize platforms for dialogue through which such persons can be informed about rules, laws and agreements between individual States and neighbouring countries in order to prevent conflict situations from developing;
    9. Supports all efforts by OSCE participating States to promote bilateral relations both at the level of local authorities and among local inhabitants;
    10. Urges all parties concerned to commit themselves to the settlement of conflicts in border areas.