NUR-SULTAN, 25 September 2019 – The fulfillment of international commitments and obligations is a pre-condition for honest dialogue, genuine trust, and stronger partnerships for peace and sustainable development, stated President George Tsereteli (MP, Georgia) in remarks delivered at the Fourth Meeting of Speakers of Eurasian Countries’ Parliaments.
The meeting, hosted by the Parliament of Kazakhstan, was held under the theme “Greater Eurasia: Dialogue. Trust. Partnership” and brought together parliamentary leaders from 65 countries. President Tsereteli was accompanied in Nur-Sultan by OSCE PA Vice-President Pascal Allizard (MP, France).
“Too often the OSCE principles and commitments that united us in the heart of the Cold War have been reneged and trampled: dialogue has eroded, trust has been diluted, it has been more difficult to build long-lasting partnerships. Fundamental disagreements, even regarding what should be undisputable facts, have seriously undermined our ability to find common ground,” said President Tsereteli. “In all conflicts in the OSCE area, we see that unfulfilled agreements and lack of political will only amplify human suffering. We must now step up to take effective international action. This is the OSCE’s calling.”
In his statement, President Tsereteli also highlighted the need to pursue dialogue on controversial issues, including the need to hold elections in line with democratic principles, promoting media freedom and defending journalists, safeguarding the environment and protecting biodiversity, encouraging trade and sustainable economic development, or enhancing effective migration governance.
During the conference, Tsereteli and Allizard met with Mazhilis Chairman Nurlan Nigmatulin and Senate Chairwoman Dariga Nazarbayeva, who serves as the Head of Kazakhstan’s Delegation to the OSCE PA. Tsereteli also exchanged with Kazakhstan’s First President Nursultan Nazarbayev. The conversations underlined Kazakhstan’s long-standing commitment and contributions to international dialogue and to the effectiveness of the OSCE and its Institutions, including through good co-operation with the OSCE Programme Office in Nur-Sultan.
“Kazakhstan continues to play a unique role in the OSCE through its readiness to contribute to conflict resolution, to promote peaceful relations, and to boost economic development. When we address sensitive and critical topics, we all understand there can be no substitute to frank and honest dialogue,” said Tsereteli. “In that respect, it is important to note Kazakhstan’s continued willingness to overcome shortcomings and work together with its international partners in good spirit.”
Tsereteli, who served as the Special Co-ordinator and leader of short-term OSCE observers for the early presidential election of June 2019, also met today with NGO representatives to discuss post-election developments, including concerns related to limitations on freedom of expression, association, and assembly, as well as the state of co-operation between civil society and public authorities.
On the margins of the parliamentary conference, President Tsereteli and Vice-President Allizard held several bilateral meetings with Armenian Speaker Ararat Mirzoyan, Azerbaijani Speaker Ogtay Asadov, Moldovan Speaker Zinaida Greceanii, North Macedonian Speaker Talat Xhaferi, Tajik Speaker Shukurjon Zuhurov, and Uzbek Speaker Nurdinjon Ismoilov. They also exchanged with the Speakers from Austria, Belarus, Cyprus, and Turkey.
Discussions mainly focused on domestic developments and OSCE and OSCE PA activities, including election observation, as well as plans for upcoming OSCE PA meetings and presidential visits.
Vice-President Allizard visited the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and met with Kazakhstan’s Deputy Foreign Minister Roman Vassilenko. Allizard, who is also the PA’s Special Representative on Mediterranean Affairs, emphasized the need to pursue outreach efforts and promote regional co-operation to counter security challenges in the OSCE area.
“While the OSCE PA collectively represents one billion voices, we must lend an attentive ear to the billion more views expressed in our immediate neighbourhood,” said Allizard. “Events in the Middle and the Far East have considerable influence on developments in the OSCE region in general, and in the Mediterranean basin in particular. We need to better understand these to guarantee greater success in our joint efforts to enhance security.”
Later this week, President Tsereteli will be in Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan to address an international seminar on parliamentary oversight and meet with the Speaker of the Kyrgyz Parliament. Tsereteli and Vice-President Allizard will report on their visit during the OSCE PA’s upcoming Autumn Meeting to be held in Marrakech, Morocco, on 4-6 October 2019.
For the President's full remarks in Nur-Sultan, please click here.