2013-Visit-Krivokapic-WashingtonDCOSCE PA President Ranko Krivokapic (centre) meets with U.S. Senators Benjamin Cardin (right) and Roger Wicker (left).COPENHAGEN, 20 November 2013 – OSCE Parliamentary Assembly President Ranko Krivokapic today met with members of the U.S. Helsinki Commission in the U.S. Congress to discuss organizational reform and the OSCE's contribution to post-conflict development in the Balkans.

Krivokapic met with Helsinki Commission Chairman Senator Benjamin Cardin and commission members including Senator Roger Wicker and Congressmen Alcee Hastings, Robert Aderholt and Mike McIntyre.

The PA president stressed the need for more parliamentary involvement in the OSCE's decision-making process, particularly in relation to budgeting, appointments, and support for field operations. The Helsinki Commission members agreed on the importance of reforming the OSCE to increase the effectiveness of its work.

Krivokapic also highlighted the role that the OSCE has played in assisting his home country, Montenegro, and its Balkan neighbors in post-conflict development and democracy-building. He urged continued focus on the region.

OSCE PA Secretary General Spencer Oliver also participated.

"The meetings were very positive and a continuation of the close working relationship between the Helsinki Commission and the Parliamentary Assembly," said Oliver. "The Helsinki Commission has been one of the most important and valuable instruments promoting the work of the OSCE since its establishment in 1976 and has been an important partner in the growth of the Parliamentary Assembly. We hope to continue our valuable cooperation in the coming future as we move towards the 40th anniversary of the Helsinki Final Act."

Secretary General Oliver will accompany PA President Krivokapic to New York next week for meetings with United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-moon and United Nations General Assembly President John W. Ashe.