210318 AS Signing in Berlin croppedOSCE PA President George Tsereteli and President of the German Bundestag Wolfgang Schäuble signing Annual Session agreement, Berlin, 21 March 2018BERLIN, 21 March 2018 – Germany’s strong support for the OSCE is evident in the high level of commitment seen in its ongoing organization of the OSCE Parliamentary Assembly’s 27th Annual Session to be held this summer in Berlin, PA President George Tsereteli said today.

Having met in the German capital with President of the German Bundestag Wolfgang Schäuble, OSCE PA Treasurer Doris Barnett, and Deputy Chairman of the CDU/CSU parliamentary group Johann Wadephul, Tsereteli said that preparations are proceeding at a rapid pace. He noted that the Annual Session will present an important opportunity to discuss the role of parliaments in upholding and implementing international commitments, stressing how strong a contribution Germany’s hosting is to the Assembly’s work.

Meeting with Minister of State at the Federal Foreign Office Niels Annen, Tsereteli discussed the fight against terrorism, the crisis in and around Ukraine, and last weekend’s presidential election in the Russian Federation.

“Germany has long been one of the most active participants within the OSCE and our Parliamentary Assembly,” Tsereteli said. “Having recently held the Chairmanship of the OSCE, Germany is now stepping up to host the biggest event on the OSCE PA’s calendar, the Annual Session. Being held under the theme ‘Implementing OSCE Commitments: The Role of Parliaments,’ this year’s meeting will provide an excellent opportunity to remind ourselves of the importance of legislative action in developing effective, results-oriented responses to the many challenges faced by the OSCE region.”

The Annual Session will be held at the Bundestag in Berlin on 7-11 July. It is expected to include some 300 parliamentarians from North America, Europe and Asia. Today, President Tsereteli officially signed the agreement on the hosting of the Annual Session, which will mark the second time that Germany has hosted the meeting, having done so in 2002 as well. Germany is only the second country to have hosted two Annual Sessions.

In meetings, Tsereteli also voiced appreciation for the leading role that Germany has played in facilitating a peaceful settlement of the crisis in and around Ukraine, as well as its strong support for the Special Monitoring Mission to Ukraine. He noted that the German OSCE Chairmanship in 2016 contributed to rebuilding trust among OSCE countries as a basis to renew dialogue, stressing that these efforts must continue.

“We need to redouble our efforts today to find solutions for new and ongoing challenges,” he said.

Also participating in the visit to Berlin were OSCE PA Secretary General Roberto Montella, Deputy Secretary General Gustavo Pallares, and OSCE PA Special Representative Andreas Nothelle.