2006 AS Brussels bigAt the close of its 15th Annual Session, held from 3 to 7 July 2006, the OSCE PA elected Goran Lennmarker of Sweden as its new President, succeeding Alcee L. Hastings of the United States. Parliamentarians from across the OSCE and beyond took part in the Session, and adopted the Brussels Declaration focused on: ‘Strengthening Human Security in the OSCE Region’.

In the Declaration, parliamentarians issue both political and technical recommendations on a range of issues. Specifically, the Declaration calls for increased support for OSCE field missions, with a particular focus on the Balkan region, and closer co-operation with other international organizations in this field. The Parliamentarians also placed particular emphasis on the security of energy sources. They called for increased dialogue between states to ensure reliable supplies of energy. The Assembly also stressed the importance of effective parliamentary oversight of security services.

In the field of election observation, the Assembly urged continued political leadership by parliamentarians, who provide visibility and credibility to such missions. In the Declaration, Members also speak out against so-called ‘crimes of honour,’ and call for legislative action to combat these practices. The Assembly also noted the need for greater attention to the protection of children’s rights, and legislative action to combat child pornography.

The Assembly issued a specific call for OSCE States to ensure that their territory is not used to assist rendition flights or to operate secret detention centres. Recommendations on settling the Transdniestrian conflict in Moldova, on dealing with the consequences of natural disasters, combating corruption, and on anti-Semitism and other forms of intolerance were also issued by the parliamentarians. The Assembly offered strong support to the work of the United Nations in Afghanistan, and recommended further consideration of increased co-operation with representatives of Afghanistan.