AM 2013 Budva bigHosted by the Parliament of Montenegro, the 2013 Autumn Meeting concluded with an address by OSCE PA President Ranko Krivokapic. Parliamentarians from across the OSCE area gathered 13-15 October for the meeting in Budva, which included a Mediterranean Forum, a meeting of the OSCE PA's Standing Committee, a meeting of the Bureau, and three sessions of the Parliamentary Conference "Addressing Transnational Threats and Protecting Human Rights: The Role of the OSCE."

Opening the Parliamentary Conference, President Krivokapic noted that Montenegro serves in a unique position to build bridges across the OSCE area. Montenegrin Prime Minister Milo Djukanovic highlighted Montenegro as an example of multi-ethnic dialogue.

2013 AM Budva KrivokapicPresident Krivokapic opened the Mediterranean Forum with a call for parliamentarians to ensure that the OSCE's Helsinki +40 process incorporates a strong Mediterranean component, and urged all parliamentarians from the Mediterranean to add their voice to the process.

Also addressing the Mediterranean Forum was Jean-Claude Mignon, President of PACE, who stressed the need for co-operation and parliamentary dialogue on both sides of the Mediterranean to meet the region's challenges.

In the second session of the Mediterranean Forum, parliamentarians debated the situation in Syria. Opened by Igor Luksic, Minister of Foreign Affairs of Montenegro, the debate included the participation of members of the Mediterranean Partners for Co-operation and OSCE participating States from across the region.

The OSCE PA's Standing Committee of heads of delegations met on 13 October to discuss ongoing activities of the Assembly, including the recent election observation mission to Azerbaijan. The OSCE Special Co-ordinator for that mission, Michel Voisin (France), and the head of the OSCE PA delegation, Doris Barnett (Germany) presented their reports, providing for a lively exchange of views that included the participation of Bahar Muradova, head of Azerbaijan's delegation to the PA. Makis Voridis (Greece), who served as deputy head of the PA delegation in Azerbaijan, shared his views on the election at the Bureau meeting on 12 October.

The three sessions of the parliamentary conference were chaired by Vice-Presidents Alain Neri (France), George Tsereteli (Georgia) and Isabel Pozuelo (Spain).

Session One, "Countering Terrorism and Transnational Threats in the OSCE Area and Respecting Human Rights," was addressed by Alexey Lyzhenkov, Co-ordinator of Activities to Address Transnational Threats (OSCE Secretariat); Nikolay Kovalev (Russian Federation); Omurbek Tekebaev (Kyrgyzstan); Olim Salimzoda (Tajikistan); and Mohammad Alam Ezedyar from the Afghanistan National Assembly.

Chair of the OSCE PA's Second Committee Roza Aknazarova (Kyrgyzstan) was the keynote speaker for Session Two, "Security Effects of the Economic/Financial Crisis," focusing her remarks on the potential for green growth, education and media professionalism in addressing the crisis' impacts on all three dimensions of security.

Session Three, "Integration of Diverse Societies," was addressed by the new OSCE High Commissioner on National Minorities Astrid Thors and Gordana Comic (Serbia), Rapporteur of the PA's Third Committee and Special Representative on National Minorities in Central and South East Europe.

Photos from the meeting are available here.