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GT tour of the Reichstag 060718George Tsereteli on a tour of the Reichstag, 6 July 2018BERLIN, 6 July 2017 – Hundreds of parliamentarians from North America, Europe, Central Asia, the Middle East and North Africa are gathering in Berlin for the 27th Annual Session of the OSCE Parliamentary Assembly, taking place 7-11 July.

Held under the theme “Implementing OSCE Commitments: The Role of Parliaments,” the Annual Session starts Saturday with a meeting of the heads of national delegations and will officially open on Sunday with keynote speeches by President of the German Bundestag Wolfgang Schäuble, President of the OSCE Parliamentary Assembly George Tsereteli (MP, Georgia), Vice-Chancellor and Federal Minister of Finance for Germany Olaf Scholz, and Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Co-operation for Italy Guglielmo Picchi, representing the OSCE Italian Chairmanship.

With some 300 parliamentarians expected to participate, the Annual Session is the largest event on the Assembly’s calendar. It will culminate in the adoption of the Berlin Declaration, which will help shape policies of national governments, parliaments and the international community in the fields of political affairs, security, economics, environment and human rights.

High on the agenda will be issues such as counter-terrorism, climate change, migration, and access to education. Debates are expected in particular on the crisis in and around Ukraine, rising populism in Europe, protracted conflicts, the environmental impacts of war, and rebuilding trust in the OSCE area. In addition to the three primary resolutions to be presented by committee rapporteurs, a number of supplementary items are on the agenda, dealing with topics such as:

  • human rights in Crimea
  • building communities free of human trafficking
  • combating gender-based violence
  • building an effective protection framework for migrant children
  • security sector governance and reform

OSCE PA members will also debate resolutions marking ten years since the August 2008 war in Georgia and how to strengthen the visibility of the OSCE Parliamentary Assembly within national parliaments.

After the amendment process and their adoption by the general committees, resolutions will be voted on by the full Assembly on the final day of the Annual Session on 11 July for inclusion in the OSCE PA’s Berlin Declaration, which will be presented to foreign ministers and speakers of parliament of the OSCE’s 57 countries.

Participants will also hold elections for the OSCE PA’s Bureau, including for President of the Assembly and Vice-Presidents.

At the plenary sessions on 10 and 11 July, expected speakers include OSCE Secretary General Thomas Greminger, OSCE PA Special Representative on Gender Issues Hedy Fry (MP, Canada), Treasurer Doris Barnett (MP, Germany), and Secretary General Roberto Montella.

For schedules, resolutions, live streaming during the event, news updates, press releases and other information, please visit http://www.oscepa.org/meetings/annual-sessions/2018-berlin-annual-session.

Media inquiries may be directed to Nat Parry, Head of Communications and Press at the OSCE PA, at [email protected]  or +45 6010 8177