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:
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: