2003 AS Rotterdam bigThe 12th Annual Session, held from 5 to 9 July 2003 in Rotterdam, concluded with the adoption of the Rotterdam Declaration focused on the Session’s theme, ‘The Role of the OSCE in the New Architecture of Europe’. The Declaration stated that with Europe’s ongoing development in security structures, the OSCE’s real strength lies in its capacity to respond to security threats and challenges and in its strong field presence. To uphold the credibility of the OSCE, it added, it is imperative to provide the OSCE field activities with adequate funding and high-quality staff.

The Assembly, the Declaration said, recommended that the OSCE Permanent Council be requested to consult the PA prior to making a decision to terminate any OSCE field activity.

2002 AS Berlin bigThe Berlin Declaration resolutely condemned all acts of terrorism, whatever their motivations or origin, and underlined the solidarity of the OSCE Parliamentary Assembly in the struggle against terrorism. The Declaration reminded all OSCE participating States that any measures that may restrict human rights and fundamental freedoms in response to terrorism have to fully respect international law and relevant OSCE commitments.

The Assembly stressed the need for the international community to look into the root causes often underlying terrorist acts, these being the political, economic and social inequalities prevailing in the world. The Declaration also called upon the governments of participating States to revise the Bucharest Plan of Action for Combating Terrorism by including provisions relating to the impact of terrorism on women, and by recognizing the need for increased participation of women in the process of conflict prevention and conflict resolution.

2001 AS Paris bigAt the conclusion of the Annual Session in Paris from 6-10 July 2001 the Paris Declaration was adopted. It included a unanimously adopted resolution on strengthening transparency and accountability in the OSCE. The Resolution contained the proposal that before making major decisions, to be defined in future consultations, the Ministerial Council should take into account the opinion of the OSCE Parliamentary Assembly.

The Assembly also recommended that as long as the OSCE complies with the strict consensus rule the decision-making process should not be secret and that objections to any proposal must be made known to any interested OSCE participating State or OSCE Institution. An Ad Hoc Committee was established to monitor the implementation of the resolution and to promote transparency and accountability in the OSCE.

2000 AS Bucharest bigThe Ninth Annual Session, held in Bucharest from 6 to 10 July 2000, adopted the Bucharest Declaration which covered a wide range of political, economic and human rights issues and includes Resolutions on specific topics. The Resolution on Belarus called on all sides to pave the way for free, fair and internationally recognizable parliamentary elections in Belarus. The Resolution on Moldova expressed its concern regarding the stalemate in the negotiations on the status of Transdniestra and emphasized the need for a common State for all the peoples of Moldova.

The Assembly also adopted a Resolution on developments in the North Caucasus which called for a political solution to the conflict in Chechnya, as well as the earliest possible return of the OSCE Assistance Group to the area. On arms and weapons trading, the Assembly passed a Resolution calling for a convention regulating the trade in arms and the establishment of an international body with jurisdiction over any violations of the convention.

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.