OSCE Parliamentarians to Debate International Security Human Rights Karabagh Conflict

COPENHAGEN (Combined Sources)–Nearly three-hundred parliamentarians from Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe’s (OSCE) fifty-five participating States will meet in Washington–DC–July 1-5–to debate issues affecting the OSCE area–including Mountainous Karabagh–Abkhazia (Georgia)–trafficking in human beings–gender equality and respect for human rights.

The head of Armenia’s delegation to OSCE Vahan Hovhannissian–who is also the Deputy Chairman of the Armenian National Assembly–will be in Washington for the session–which is expected to review Goren Lennmarker’s report on Karabagh.

Lennmarker–OCSE’s rapporteur on Karabagh–reaffirmed in his March 2005 report that Mountainous Karabagh’s status is of utmost importance–and that Azeri argumen’s concerning refugees and territory are secondary.

"By bringing the Azeri refugee issue to the forefront–Azerbaijan must realize that the Armenian side has the right to raise analogous claims–that is–to insist on the return of Armenia’s to Baku and Sumgait–which is hardly possible as Armenia’s in Azerbaijan are doomed to a violent death," Hovhannisian said.

Senior officials–including US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice–and the OSCE Chairman-in-Office–Slovenian Foreign Minister Dimitrij Rupel–will be addressing the annual Session. The current President of the Assembly is US Congressman Alcee L. Hastings of Florida.

OSCE parliamentarians from North America–Europe–the Caucasus–and Central Asia will debate current issues based on resolutions prepared by the Assembly’s Rapporteurs on political–economic–environmental–and human rights issues related to the Session’s theme ’30 Years since Helsinki: Challenges Ahead;’ supplementary resolutions on specific issues will also be presented.

Consideration will be given to topics such as piracy–trafficking in human beings–standards of conduct by international humanitarian workers–combating terrorism–trafficking in small arms–the Mountainous Karabagh conflict–gender equality–co-operation with Mediterranean states–Abkhazia (Georgia)–money laundering and corruption–Moldova–anti-Semitism–election observation activities–and OSCE reform. The Final Document–to be adopted on the last day of the meeting–will include recommendations on these and other issues.

Meeting for the first time in the United States–OSCE parliamentarians–will also–for the first time–have the opportunity to meet and hear an address by the newly appointed Secretary General of the OSCE Ambassador Marc Perrin de Brichambaut. The Assembly will also honor Ukraine Television Channel Five with the tenth OSCE Prize for Journalism and Democracy on the first day of the Session.

The meetings of the Assembly will take place in the premises of the JW Marriott Hotel in Washington–DC. All documen’s and forms for the Session–including press applications–resolutions and other general information–can be found on the Assembly’s website: www.oscepa.org.

The Parliamentary Assembly of the OSCE–created by the CSCE Summit in Paris in 1990–is the parliamentary setting for the 55-nation Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe. The primary task of the 317 member Assembly is to facilitate inter-parliamentary dialogue–in an overall effort to meet the challenges of democracy throughout the OSCE area.

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