2011-FM-Picula-speakingDUBROVNIK, Croatia, 7 October 2011 – President Petros Efthymiou and political leaders of Croatia, speaking today at the opening of the OSCE Parliamentary Assembly Fall Meetings, held up the progress in South East Europe as an example of successful growth that can come from international co-operation.

“This region is now showing freedom, security and prosperity are not values that stop at any borders,” said President Efthymiou. “They are the common ideals that live inside us all and shared commitments that we as parliamentarians, diplomats and government leaders must always work to renew.”

“The recent initiative by the presidents of Croatia, Bosnia and Herzegovina and Serbia in Brijuni to co-operate further in law enforcement, criminal prosecution and extradition procedures in order to fight organized crime and improve prosecution of war crimes shows the lasting effect of relationships first fostered through OSCE dialogue,” President Efthymiou said.

More than 200 parliamentarians from across the 56-country OSCE region have gathered in Dubrovnik for the meetings, which include sessions on economic co-operation in South East Europe and a forum about security in the Mediterranean.

“Croatia sees membership in European and Euro-Atlantic integrations as a unique historic opportunity to further develop democracy, stability and security,” said Luka Bebic, President of the Croatian Parliament. “The concluded negotiations are the best incentive for other countries and an indication that reforms are worth the effort.”

“The OSCE Parliamentary Assembly has the capacity to participate in the search for solutions that can bring us closer to the wished-for comprehensive concept of a security community in the northern hemisphere,” said Tonino Picula, Head of the Croatian Delegation to the OSCE PA. “Success won’t be possible without the co-operation of immediate representatives of citizens of the participating States, which is their parliamentary representatives.”

“The contribution of OSCE to international security is vast and irreplaceable,” said Croatian Prime Minister Jadranka Kosor. “Its flexibility to face new challenges and its comprehensive approach to security issues are the best guarantees to prevent and manage conflicts.”

“The OSCE has been continually contributing to the successful resolution of post-war situations and significantly contributed in the fields of refugees, re-integration and rule of law,” said President of Croatia, Ivo Josipovic. “Co-operation with the OSCE represents a success and an example of good practice which can be applied to other states.”

The Fall Meetings run through Monday in Dubrovnik.

The OSCE Parliamentary Assembly is comprised of 320 parliamentarians from 55 countries spanning, Europe, Central Asia and North America. The Assembly provides a forum for parliamentary diplomacy, monitors elections, and strengthens international co-operation to uphold commitments on political, security, economic, environmental and human rights issues.