2015 AM Muttonen Central Asia

Christine Muttonen (2nd from left) speaks to President Kanerva following the PA's special roundtable on Central Asia at the 2015 Autumn Meeting in Ulaanbaatar, 16 September 2015.

COPENHAGEN, 15 January 2016 – OSCE Parliamentary Assembly President Ilkka Kanerva (MP, Finland) has appointed Austrian parliamentarian and OSCE PA Vice-President Christine Muttonen to serve as the Assembly’s Special Representative for Central and Eastern Asia.

The position will help support the active participation of OSCE participating States in Central Asia, as well as Mongolia, in the work of the Assembly; encourage expanded parliamentary dialogue and co-operation among countries in the area; promote the values of parliamentarism; and increase contacts with OSCE field presences and other organizations in the area, among other functions.

“The countries of Central Asia, along with our newest participating State, Mongolia, are in the eastern portion of the OSCE area, but are at the heart of the OSCE, itself. This position will strengthen the Parliamentary Assembly’s work in assisting these countries, learning from these countries, and promoting partnerships between these countries across all aspects of human security. I greatly welcome Vice-President Muttonen’s leadership on these issues,” President Kanerva said.

In accepting the appointment, Muttonen said:

“I very much look forward to working closely with the Central Asian states and Mongolia, and especially with their parliaments, to promote more active engagement and co-operation within the Parliamentary Assembly. This part of the OSCE area faces a range of specific challenges, from the threat of terrorism to resource management, but also great potential for advances in the political, economic and cultural spheres. The PA can play a crucial role in addressing all of these elements, and I look forward to facilitating that. I also look forward to actively reaching out to the larger East Asian region.”

The mandate of the OSCE PA Special Representative for Central and Eastern Asia is to:

Encourage active participation by parliamentarians from Central Asia (Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan), as well as Mongolia, in the work of the OSCE Parliamentary Assembly to strengthen parliamentarism in the region;

Liaise with and support the work of the OSCE field missions in the region, as well as relevant OSCE institutions, international and regional organizations and diplomatic missions;

Encourage closer contacts between the parliaments in the region to promote greater intra-regional co-operation in all three OSCE dimensions;

Promote knowledge of the OSCE and its core principles in the OSCE’s Asian Partner for Co-operation countries, notably through building inter-parliamentary ties;

Report to the President of the Assembly on developments in the region, including opportunities for enhanced parliamentary dialogue and further inter-parliamentary co-operation among the Central Asian states and Mongolia, as well as with Eastern Asia.

Muttonen currently serves as a Vice-President of the OSCE PA and the Deputy Head of the Austrian Delegation to the Assembly. A long-serving member of her national parliament, she was recently named the Chairperson of its Central Asia and Mongolia Friendship Group. At the OSCE PA’s 2015 Autumn Meeting in Ulaanbaatar, Muttonen chaired a special roundtable with the heads of OSCE field presences in Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan.

On 15 January, Muttonen participated in a Regional Working Group on Central Asia at OSCE headquarters in Vienna. She met with senior OSCE officials working on the region, including several heads of OSCE field presences.

There are currently eight other OSCE PA Special Representatives. Each holds a mandate pertaining to a specific issue within the Assembly’s work or to a specific geographical area represented in the Assembly.

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