2004 AS Edinburgh bigAt the close of their meeting in Edinburgh from 5-9 July 2004, more than 300 parliamentarians from 52 OSCE participating States adopted the Edinburgh Declaration focusing on the political, economic and human rights aspects of the central theme of the Session: ‘Co-operation and Partnership: Coping with new Security Threats.’ The Edinburgh Declaration recognized that terrorism, as a rule, targets civilian populations, and has as its central objective to cause instability and fear, and even incite racism and xenophobia.

The Assembly condemned terrorism in all forms and manifestations and called upon the international community to target the profound political, social, economic and environmental causes of terrorism and to ensure that the fight against terrorism be carried out in compliance with the principles of the UN Charter and international law, including human rights and refugee protection law.

The Assembly also adopted a Resolution on Co-operation between the OSCE and the OSCE Parliamentary Assembly. With this Resolution the Assembly reiterated previous recommendations that the OSCE carry out the necessary reforms with regard to its consensus decision-making procedure. The Resolution requested that the OSCE PA be given free access to all OSCE meetings and events and recommended that the Special Representative of the OSCE PA in Vienna be included in consultative processes.

The Assembly also recommended that the OSCE PA response to the draft OSCE budget be discussed in the Permanent Council and the Advisory Committee on Management and Finance. The Assembly also called on National OSCE PA Delegations to work to ensure that the OSCE PA’s Declarations are followed up at the national level of parliaments as well as by governments.

The Assembly also adopted a resolution on torture calling upon all participating States to abide by the obligation that no exceptional circumstances may be invoked as a justification of torture. The Resolution on fulfilling OSCE commitments regarding the fight against racism, anti-Semitism and xenophobia called for sustained attention by the OSCE in fulfilling commitments in this area.

The Edinburgh Declaration stressed that OSCE participating States and the Mediterranean Partners for Co-operation should enter a comprehensive process of active dialogue aimed at mutual economic growth, modernization and expanded trade among all the States of the OSCE region.

In the resolution on Kosovo, the Assembly called upon participating States to provide the additional forces necessary to maintain stability and ensure a secure environment for those persons wishing to return to their homes in Kosovo. The Assembly passed a resolution calling for all OSCE participating States to maintain and sustain efforts to ensure equal opportunities for national minorities. The Assembly also discussed as a matter of urgency the capture and detention of Georgian peace-keepers by South Ossetian armed units and adopted a resolution calling upon authorities to find an immediate peaceful solution to the crisis.

The Parliamentary Assembly also adopted resolutions focusing on a total ban on anti-personnel landmines; trafficking in human beings; Moldova; Ukraine; Libya; and peace in the Middle East.