Addressing foreign ministers at the OSCE’s 24th Ministerial Council in Vienna today, Parliamentary Assembly President George Tsereteli (MP, Georgia) noted the value and potential of the OSCE, stressing that governments should ensure that the organization is fully equipped to handle challenges facing the region.
“In increasingly critical times, governments should make the best use of the OSCE,” the President said to the foreign ministers of the OSCE’s 57 participating States. “It is a unique platform that does no less than serve our collective security which deserves to be nurtured, supported and provided with necessary financial, human and material resources.”
Tsereteli stated that although comprehensive security may at times require compromise, the OSCE’s core values and founding principles are areas that are not up for negotiation. The President also pointed out that comprehensive security requires equal attention to all its dimensions – including the economic and environmental.
“Climate change poses a threat to us all and this challenge requires innovative and creative thinking to move us into a sustainable, low-carbon economy,” Tsereteli said. “We need co-operation between all countries and on all levels. I am glad to see increased attention to this challenge within the OSCE.”
The President stressed the value of OSCE field work and called for reopening field presences that have been closed in recent years. He highlighted his own country’s experience, noting that Georgia understands well the value of the OSCE’s work on the ground. Tsereteli urged renewed attention to conflict mediation, stressing that the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict and the ongoing crisis in and around Ukraine must be dealt with.
“Too many lives have been destroyed by these conflicts and fundamental human rights have been violated,” Tsereteli said. “We in the OSCE should never accept this as normal or tolerable. I hope that around this table we can find the political will to boost our efforts in pursuit of peace- and confidence-building. Like in Moldova, where we see that persistence produces positive results.”
He thanked the Austrian OSCE Chairmanship for its leadership and highlighted the work of the OSCE PA over the past year, in particular on the issues of migration and terrorism, underling that the Assembly is eager to work with partners in the OSCE.
On Wednesday, the OSCE PA’s Bureau met ahead of the Ministerial Council to discuss current political international issues and ongoing Assembly work.
Bureau members heard remarks by Chair of the OSCE Permanent Council Clemens Koja and OSCE Secretary General Thomas Greminger, who welcomed the close co-operation developed between the Parliamentary Assembly and the Organization’s executive structures.
OSCE PA Treasurer Doris Barnett, Chairperson of the Sub-Committee on the Rules of Procedure and Working Practices Peter Bowness, Special Representative on the South Caucasus Kristian Vigenin, and OSCE PA Secretary General Roberto Montella also reported to the Bureau.
President Tsereteli’s agenda this week in Vienna includes several bilateral meetings with foreign ministers and OSCE officials.