2005 AS Washington bigFollowing meetings from 1-5 July 2005, the Assembly adopted the Washington Declaration focusing on the political, economic and human rights aspects of the central theme of the Session, ‘30 Years Since Helsinki: Challenges Ahead’. The Declaration reiterates the fundamental principles endorsed by the Helsinki Final Act, the Charter of Paris, and other OSCE agreements.

In the Washington Declaration, the Assembly passed recommendations on a range of political issues, including increasing information exchanges with non-OSCE States on trafficking and upgrading the status of the OSCE’s Forum for Security Co-operation. In the field of economic development, particular emphasis was placed on assisting in the development of small entrepreneurship and increasing the role of women and ethnic minorities in scientific, legal and commercial spheres. The importance of respecting human rights commitments was also emphasised, including voting rights. In this context, the Assembly recalled the obligation of participating States to allow international OSCE observers of election procedures.

The document supports recommendations on OSCE reform, based on reports by the 2005 Panel of Eminent Persons appointed by the Chairman-in-Office and on the OSCE PA’s June 2005 colloquium on ‘The Future of the OSCE’. The Assembly also called upon the OSCE to improve the gender balance in the organization and to adopt more transparency and accountability in its working methods.

In their resolutions, the parliamentarians also proposed recommendations on combating anti-Semitism, as well as on trafficking in human beings. The Assembly also supported proposals on finding peaceful resolutions to frozen conflicts in Georgia and Moldova.

The final document also addressed issues on fighting piracy, on relations in the Mediterranean region, on countering corruption, on stopping the traffic in small arms, and on combating trafficking in human beings. The Assembly also passed a resolution urging recognition that terrorist acts committed by suicide bombers constitute crimes against humanity.