1999 St. Petersburg bigThe Eighth Annual Session of the OSCE Parliamentary Assembly was held in St. Petersburg from 6 to 10 July 1999. Looking ahead to the new millennium, Resolutions corresponding to the main baskets of the Helsinki Final Act were passed on the general theme of ‘Common Security and Democracy in the Twenty-First Century’.

The St. Petersburg Declaration also included Resolutions on the situation in Kosovo, the democratic deficit within the OSCE, the role of the OSCE in crisis prevention and conflict settlement, the problem of trafficking of women and children, as well as specific resolutions concerning Belarus, Russia and South-Eastern Europe.

Reiterating the Assembly’s commitment to reforming the Institutions of the OSCE and redressing the democratic deficit in the Organization, the St. Petersburg Declaration called for the Parliamentary Assembly to be consulted more widely on issues of majormportance, including developments within the Organization, such as the appointment of the Secretary General and the budgetary activities of the main OSCE Institutions. The Declaration also called upon participating States to give the OSCE greater political weight. The Declaration reiterated the importance of providing the Organization with sufficient funding. It also suggested creating a training centre for OSCE personnel and establishing an approximate-consensus decision-making process.

The Resolution on the Situation in Kosovo welcomed the end of military hostilities, and expressed support for the OSCE Mission in Kosovo and other initiatives, such as the Stability Pact for South-Eastern Europe, which seek to foster co-operation between States in the region. The Assembly decided to establish an OSCE PA Democracy Team on Kosovo, in order to promote the creation of civil society, development of democracy and the rule of law with community leaders, political parties, and representatives of international organizations on a periodic basis. The Resolution on Belarus called upon all political forces in the country to co-operate in order to find a solution to the country’s continuing political and institutional deadlock.