2011 AS Belgrade bigThe 20th Annual Session of the OSCE Parliamentary Assembly was held from 6 to 10 July 2011 in Belgrade, Serbia, under the general theme of "Strengthening the OSCE's Effectiveness and Efficiency -- A new start after the Astana Summit." It concluded with the elections of Assembly Officers and the adoption of the Belgrade Declaration, available in all six official langauges.

More than 230 parliamentarians from 53 countries voted on 10 July to pass the Belgrade Declaration, a political document filled with recommendations for national parliaments and the Organization for Security and Co-operation Europe on economic, security and human rights issues. The document contains resolutions on issues including human rights in Belarus, cyber security, human trafficking, hunger, internet freedom, nuclear safety and organ trafficking.

“This Belgrade Declaration should remind us all that the best days of the OSCE are ahead of us,” said President Petros Efthymiou (Greece). “Since our beginning our region has constantly changed, and now it is imperative for the OSCE to change as well. We look forward to governments, parliaments and the OSCE implementing these recommendations.”

Parliamentarians re-elected President Efthymiou to a second one-year term on the final day of the Session.

“I am honoured and humbled that my colleagues from parliaments throughout our region have re-elected me to lead this Assembly,” Mr. Efthymiou said. “I look forward to using this time to expand on the important work we have started to increase the efficiency and effectiveness of the OSCE and strengthen dialogue with parliaments and other democratic institutions in places where democracy is still a relatively new experiment.”

Treasurer Roberto Battelli (Slovenia) was re-elected to a second one-year term.

The three General Committees elected new Officers to one-year terms on 9 July. In the General Committee on Political Affairs and Security, Karl-Georg Wellman (Germany) was elected Chair; Susanne Bratli (Norway), Vice-Chair and Vilija Aleknaite Abramikiene (Lithuania), Rapporteur.

The General Committee on Economic Affairs, Science, Technology and Environment elected Serhiy Shevchuk (Ukraine) as Chair; Bruce Hyer (Canada), Vice-Chair; and Tony Lloyd (United Kingdom), Rapporteur.

In the General Committee on Democracy, Human Rights and Humanitarian Questions, Matteo Mecacci (Italy) was elected Chair; Alain Neri (France), Vice-Chair; and Coskun Coruz (Netherlands), Rapporteur.

Three Vice-Presidents were elected to three-year terms on the final day of the Session. Wolfgang Grossruck (Austria) was re-elected, while Walburga Habsburg Douglas (Sweden) and Tonino Picula (Croatia) were elected after having served as Chair of the Third Committee and Rapporteur of the First Committee, respectively.