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Parliamentary Assembly of the Organisation for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE)

Thirteenth Legislature (2017 - )


About the Delegation

The Parliamentary Assembly of the OSCE is the parliamentary dimension of the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe. Recognized as a regional arrangement under Chapter VIII of the United Nations Charter, the OSCE is a primary instrument for early warning, conflict prevention, crisis management and post-conflict rehabilitation in its area. The OSCE adopts a comprehensive approach to security that encompasses politico-military, economic and environmental, and human aspects. It therefore addresses a wide range of security-related concerns, including arms control, confidence- and security-building measures, human rights, national minorities, democratization, policing strategies, counter-terrorism and economic and environmental activities. The OSCE comprises 57 participating States, which enjoy equal status, and decisions are taken by consensus on a politically, but not legally binding basis.

 

The Parliamentary Assembly of the OSCE was originally established by the 1990 Paris Summit to promote greater involvement in the OSCE by national parliaments in the participating States. It also pursues other important objectives which are stated in the preamble of the Assembly's Rules of Procedure. They include:

  • Assessing the implementation of OSCE objectives by participating States;
  • Discussing subjects addressed during meetings of the Ministerial Council and summit meetings of OSCE Heads of State or Government;
  • Developing and promote mechanisms for the prevention and resolution of conflicts;
  • Supporting the strengthening and consolidation of democratic institutions in OSCE participating States;
  • Contributing to the development of OSCE institutional structures and of relations and co-operation between existing OSCE institutions.

 

In order to pursue these objectives, the OSCE Parliamentary Assembly employs a variety of means, including a Final Declaration and a number of resolutions and recommendations that are adopted each year at the Annual Session. Other means include:

  • Committee work aimed at addressing important contemporary international issues. This occurs in:
    • The three General Committees, which correspond to the three main sections of the Helsinki Final Act: the General Committee on Political Affairs and Security; the General Committee on Economic Affairs, Science, Technology and Environment; and the General Committee on Democracy, Human Rights and Humanitarian Questions.
    • The Standing Committee, which consists of Heads of National Delegations to the OSCE Parliamentary Assembly and the Members of the Bureau, and which prepares the work of the Assembly between sessions and ensure the efficient operation of the Assembly.
    • Other committees and groups which were established by the Standing Committee of the OSCE PA to address specific issues or areas that can benefit from parliamentary attention. In 2018, these were the Ad Hoc Committee on Strengthening OSCE Engagement Through Transparency and Reform, the Ad Hoc Working Group on Belarus, the Parliamentary Team on Moldova, the Sub-Committee on Rules of Procedure and Working Practices, the Ad Hoc Committee on Migration; and the Ad Hoc Committee on Countering Terrorism.
  • Special Representatives who act as the primary point of contact within the OSCE PA on specific issues. In 2018 Special Representatives focused¬† on Eastern Europe, on Mediation, on Anti-Semitism, Racism and Intolerance, on Gender Issues, on Human Trafficking Issues, on Mediterranean Affairs, on OSCE Border Issues, and on South East Europe;
  • Different programmes, including an extensive election observation programme, and various seminars, designed to develop and strengthen democracy; and
  • Special missions of PA delegations to areas of concern or crisis.