The 25th Annual Session of OSCE PA was accomplished today with the plenary session. The Delegates elected the representative of Austrian Delegation, Ms. Christine Muttonen as the President of OSCE PA. The voting took two rounds. Ms. Muttonen had 91 votes and Mr. Giorgi Tsereteli had 85 votes in the first round, while Mr. Alain Neri obtained 25 votes. In the second round, 73 MPs supported Mr. Tsereteli and 86 MPs – Ms. Muttonen. Mr. Tsereteli occupied the position of the Vice-President along with Mr. Robert Aderholt, Mr. Kent Harstedt, Mr. Victor Paul Dobre, Lord Peter Bowness, Mr. Roberto Battelli, Ms. Isabel Santos and Mr. Azay Guliyev.
The Delegates adopted the Tbilisi Declaration with 122 votes against 6 with 7 MPs abstaining. The document contains the resolutions considered at the Committee sittings, including the draft resolution on “Conflicts in Georgia”. The document concerns territorial integrity and sovereignty of Georgia. With the resolution, the OSCE member states call on Russia to respect the internationally recognized borders, refuse recognition of Abkhazia and South Ossetia regions as independent states, allow IDPs to return to their homes, withdraw Army from Georgia and stop occupation of Georgian territories.
The Declaration shall be submitted to the OSCE in Vienna and will be delivered to the Ministries of Foreign Affairs of member states.
According to the Russian Delegation, the Declaration contains the resolutions, failing to serve for the role of OSCE PA and enhancement of security of Europe. Due to the hereof argument, Russian Delegation did not support the document as a whole.
The Treasurer of OSCE PA, Ms. Doris Barnett delivered the speech and stated that the PA members shall at maximal extent use their potential for progress and the Declaration shall be actively applied for the national policy.
The OSCE PA Secretary General, Mr. Roberto Montella, in his speech thanked Georgia for organization of OSCE PA and for warm hospitality. “We travel a lot, visiting lots of countries. We have 25 years of experience and I would like to state that the reception was extraordinary. Every detail – starting from the drivers up to the camera men – was ideal. Believe me, these are my cordial words”.
Mr. Giorgi Tsereteli spoke about role and importance of OSCE. “It was a historical meeting for Georgia and I am glad to see these events in Tbilisi. It is a historical meeting for our region, for my country and I am glad that we held discussions on many important issues. I think, ongoing events are in complete provided in the final document we developed. It contains many painful issues”. As he stated, enhancement of OSCE and OSCE PA is very important, as well as close relation and dialogue with youth. “We shall be united with the fundamental principles of OSCE. We shall ensure activity of the PA to be maximally transparent”.
Mr. Tedo Japaridze addressed the attendees, stating that the conflicts discredit Helsinki Act. The human rights protection function of OSCE is invaluable. He recalled the resolutions of 90s in the process of dissociation of empires, ethnic confrontations, changes of the borders of post-Soviet countries. As he stated, the OSCE President is the representative of Germany and Germany plays the crucial role in conflict resolution. He also emphasized the roles of the meetings of the OSCE PA, the Governments of member states, various structures and importance of dialogue in conflict resolution.
The OSCEPA President, Ilkka Kanerva estimated 1 year of OSCE PA activity. It is necessary to make the political decisions, he stated, based on democracy and dialogue principles. “We shall work on security. It is our aim and cooperation and dialogue are the means. We shall emphasize activities directed to concrete results. We shall act and not only speak”. He hoped that his successor will do many good deeds. He thanked OSCE PA members for their activity.
In the end, the Speaker of Georgian Parliament, Mr. David Usupashvili thanked Mr. Kanerva, the OSCE PA team, the Secretariat, the Delegations and every single person visiting Georgia and taking active part in discussions and supporting the decision. “It is high honor for us to host you. We did our best to create pleasant environ for you. We are glad that we succeeded. We will be particularly happy to see you again in Georgia on business or personal trips. We would once again confirm that Georgia takes all the issues related to OSCE PA serious. So, we are not only hosts but we are the members of this organization in Tbilisi and in any other country we meet”.
On July 1-5, Tbilisi was the hub of political events hosting the 25th Annual Session of OSCE PA on “25 Years of Parliamentary Co-operation: Building Trust through Dialogue”. It is the first time when Georgia hosts such wide-scale event. More than 600 representatives of 57 member states participated in the sittings of the General Committees and adopted the respective resolutions.