Parliamentary Assembly President Muttonen welcomes sustained British engagement with the OSCE in visit to London

240117 Muttonen Fowler London LHouse of Lords Speaker Peter Norman Fowler and OSCE PA President Christine Muttonen meeting in London, 24 January 2017LONDON, 25 January 2017 – Wrapping up a two-day visit to London, OSCE Parliamentary Assembly President Christine Muttonen (MP, Austria) today emphasized the need for reinforcing European, Eurasian and transatlantic ties by utilizing all the tools offered by the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe, including its Parliamentary Assembly.

Muttonen explored opportunities for greater co-operation between the PA and the United Kingdom in talks with House of Lords Speaker Peter Norman Fowler and members of the UK’s delegation to the OSCE PA on Tuesday.

“In these uncertain times, it is of great benefit to both the OSCE and the United Kingdom to have such strong, sustained involvement by British parliamentarians in the OSCE PA,” she said. “While Europe and the wider region are currently experiencing significant political changes – understandably leading to apprehension in some quarters – the shared values that guide the OSCE provide bedrock principles for us to continue addressing common challenges. These principles remain vital to our goal of realizing the promise of comprehensive security.”

The 24-25 January visit was intended to promote bilateral co-operation, as well as to identify priority areas in the work of the OSCE PA that are of particular relevance to the United Kingdom.

President Muttonen highlighted the valuable contributions of the United Kingdom's delegation to the PA, noting the active engagement by a number of British parliamentarians in the Assembly. She highlighted in particular Assembly Vice-President Lord Peter Bowness’s important work as Chair of the OSCE PA’s Sub-Committee on the Rules of Procedure and Lord Alf Dubs’s participation in the Ad Hoc Committee on Migration.

“The United Kingdom’s involvement in the work of the OSCE PA is essential and we are fortunate that the delegation from the UK has always been very active, substantially contributing to all areas of our activities,” Muttonen said.

In her meeting with Lord Fowler, the President provided background on the OSCE’s work on migration, conflict mediation, combating human trafficking, promoting the rule of law, and countering violent extremism. Muttonen also described her main priorities as Assembly President, which include strengthening the parliamentary dimension of the OSCE and promoting youth involvement in the Organization.

She commended the work of the OSCE Special Monitoring Mission to Ukraine, as well as field presences in South Eastern Europe, Eastern Europe, the South Caucasus and Central Asia, which she said play a vital role in the Organization’s efforts on the ground. She also noted that the Parliamentary Assembly provides a democratic footing to the OSCE, offering fresh ideas through open inter-parliamentary dialogue.

President Muttonen attended House of Lords Question Time on Tuesday, followed by a discussion. She was accompanied by OSCE PA Secretary General Roberto Montella, who was on his first official visit to the UK, Deputy Secretary General Gustavo Pallares and Senior Adviser to the President Lukas Mussi from the Austrian Parliament.



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