OSCE facing its greatest modern challenge with Ukraine crisis, Parliamentary Assembly President tells Foreign Ministers

2014-MC-Basel-KanervaOSCE PA President Ilkka Kanerva (MP, Finland) addresses the OSCE Ministerial Council. (courtesy of OSCE)BASEL, 4 December 2014 – The Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe is facing its greatest challenge in recent memory as it responds to the Ukraine crisis and must take decisive steps, OSCE Parliamentary Assembly President Ilkka Kanerva (MP, Finland) said in an address to the Organization's foreign ministers today.

"We've been faced with the greatest modern challenge to the OSCE – a crisis in which one participating State has ignored the Helsinki Principles, violating the sovereignty and territorial integrity of its neighbor," Kanerva said, referring to Russia.

"The crisis in and around Ukraine has generated an institutional crisis: What can the OSCE do to monitor, to defuse, to mediate? The institutional crisis has also meant a truly existential crisis: What's the point of the Helsinki Final Act if countries that have pledged to play by these rules decide not to do so?" he asked.

Before delegations from the Organization's 57 participating States assembled at the 2014 Ministerial Council in Basel, Kanerva called on Russia to end its support for illegal separatists in the east of Ukraine and on the Crimean Peninsula and also expressed concern at Russian challenges to the territorial integrity of other OSCE participating States, including Georgia and Moldova.

The OSCE PA President urged the OSCE to extend and expand its monitoring mission on the Ukrainian-Russian border if its work is to be effective. He further called for the Organization's Special Monitoring Mission to Ukraine to be scaled up to its maximum strength of 500 monitors "sooner rather than later" and for the OSCE to consider additional peacekeeping initiatives.

In his address, Kanerva also spoke to the value of the Organization's continuing efforts to spur reform ahead of next year's fortieth anniversary of the OSCE's founding document, the Helsinki Final Act. He encouraged foreign ministers to consider the PA's recommendations for reforming and updating the Organization, including those generated by the Assembly's ongoing Helsinki +40 Project.

President Kanerva thanked the Swiss Chairmanship-in-Office for its work during the year and pledged strong PA co-operation with the 2015 Serbian Chairmanship-in-Office.

The President's address to the Ministerial Council followed a meeting of the OSCE PA's leadership on 3 December.

For the full text of the address, click here .



Нэт Пэрри

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