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Parliamentarians have a vital role in ensuring OSCE commitments - Minister Creighton

VIENNA, 24 February 2012 – Parliamentarians have a vital role to play in ensuring the effectiveness of the OSCE and the implementation of its commitments, said Lucinda Creighton, Ireland’s Minister of State for European Affairs, in Vienna today.

Speaking on behalf of the OSCE Chairperson-in-Office at the Winter Meeting of the OSCE Parliamentary Assembly, she emphasised the need for effective multilateralism to tackle the political and economic crises facing OSCE participating States.  She also praised the significant role the OSCE plays in conflict resolution and in the promotion of peace, security and respect for human rights and the rule of law.

Minister Creighton said “Ireland assumed the Chairmanship of the OSCE this year for the first time. We are approaching this task as a unique opportunity to make a tangible contribution to the promotion of European peace and security.”

“The co-operative and inclusive nature of the OSCE is its best asset, and an important part of this cooperation is the work carried out by the Parliamentary Assembly, in particular the Assembly’s role in facilitating constructive, inter-parliamentary dialogue across the OSCE region.”

The Minister’s participation at the Winter Meeting follows closely on the recent meeting between the OSCE Chairperson-in-Office and the President of the OSCE Parliamentary Assembly, Petros Efthymiou in Dublin on the 1 February.

In her address this afternoon, the Minister outlined the Chairmanship’s priorities for 2012, including promoting internet freedom, tackling transnational threats and fostering good governance. She also highlighted the Irish Chairmanship’s plans to strengthen the OSCE’s capacity to make progress towards resolving protracted conflicts.

“While each conflict situation is different, I believe that sharing this experience can support and encourage efforts to resolve conflicts in the OSCE region.  With this in mind, the Chairperson-in-Office will host a conference in Dublin on 27 April which will aim to draw on the experience of the Northern Ireland peace process as a case study,” she said.

She added that the Irish Chairmanship hoped that Mongolia would be welcomed as the 57th OSCE participating State by the end of the year, and announced that the Chairmanship had appointed Ambassador John Bernhard, the former Permanent Representative of Denmark to the OSCE, to look at the issue of enhancing the legal status of the OSCE.