ROME, 30 October 2012 – OSCE Parliamentary Assembly President Riccardo Migliori addressed today the 2012 Mediterranean Conference in Rome, sharing his vision of how the partnership between the OSCE and the Mediterranean Partner States can be more effective.

He reminded participants that after the Arab Spring and amid the ongoing economic and a humanitarian crisis, those who believe in the OSCE model must work for it.

Pointing out that state pledges to the partnership fund have dropped 80 per cent in four years, he called for increased participation in exchange programmes between the OSCE and partner governments to help partners to be "more integrated in the OSCE year-round beyond their routine interactions in Vienna."

"In the end the OSCE is not about programmes and policies – it's about people," Migliori said, pointing out recent steps taken regarding the participation of the Palestinian National Council and the Libyan foreign ministry at OSCE Parliamentary Assembly events.

On potential joint projects, he called for a quick decision by Mediterranean Partners regarding which programmes they want to see implemented and asked them to participate in other OSCE work.

Highlighting the need to show a greater commitment to OSCE principles, Migliori stressed that parliamentarians must stand up against hate and be a leading voice for inclusion.

Migliori also announced he would travel next month to Turkey, where more than 100,000 Syrians are living in refugee camps. He said the consequences of the conflict in Syria have spread into the OSCE region with Syrians seeking help or asylum. He thanked Turkey, Jordan and Egypt for their help in this humanitarian crisis.

"We should encourage our own governments to work toward a peaceful resolution of the conflict and when we meet for this conference next year, may we be witnessing a Syria in reconstruction," he said.