2015 AS Helsinki bigCOPENHAGEN, 30 June 2015 – An argument opposing the use of sanctions against parliamentarians, a condemnation of Russia’s actions in Ukraine and a call to action regarding foreign terrorist fighters are among a diverse group of supplementary items proposed for consideration at the OSCE Parliamentary Assembly’s Annual Session on 5-9 July in Helsinki.

The refugee crisis in the Mediterranean, human trafficking, developments in the Arctic, neo-Nazism, and the urgent need for OSCE reform are among other topics of fifteen total items.

Sponsored by individual OSCE parliamentarians, the supplementary items must survive an initial vote to be considered. Pending amendments and adoption by a majority of the full Assembly, they will be attached to the wide-ranging set of policy recommendations contained in the Session’s final Helsinki Declaration.

Sergey Naryshkin, the Chairperson of the Russian State Duma and Head of the Russian Delegation to the OSCE PA, is the principal sponsor of the draft supplementary resolution titled “The Inadmissibility of the Use of Sanctions against Parliamentarians of the OSCE Participating States.”

The item “considers that the use by OSCE participating States of unilateral sanctions as a means of forcing another participating State to change its foreign and/or domestic policy cannot serve as an effective way of resolving conflicts” and calls on OSCE participating States to refuse to apply such sanctions.

“The Continuation of Clear, Gross and Uncorrected Violations of OSCE Commitments and International Norms by the Russian Federation” is another draft supplementary item submitted for the Session.

Principally sponsored by Dean Allison, the Head of Canada’s Delegation to the OSCE PA, the item “condemns the Russian Federation’s unilateral and unjustified assault on Ukraine’s sovereignty and territorial integrity” and calls on Russia to cease material and other support for illegal armed groups in Donetsk and Luhansk.

The item is an extension of a similar Supplementary Resolution approved at the 2014 OSCE PA Annual Session in Baku.

Other draft supplementary resolutions include Italian parliamentarian Cristina De Pietro’s “Comprehensive Legislative Reform on Foreign Terrorist Fighters (FTFs) from the OSCE Area,” which urges governments to develop strategies to tackle “the more subtle security threats, such as FTFs and ‘lone wolves.’”

“Calling for Urgent Solutions to the Tragedy of Deaths in the Mediterranean” is principally sponsored by Italian parliamentarian Marietta Tidei, the Rapporteur of the Assembly’s Committee on Economic Affairs, Science, Technology and Environment. It expresses support for European Union migrant reception quotas and calls for an increase in the number of migrants and refugees accepted into the EU.

Principally sponsored by Norwegian parliamentarian Torstein Tvedt Solberg, “Environmental Challenges and Economic Opportunities in the High North” addresses a range of issues relating to the Arctic, including the need for environmental conservation and sustainable resource development.

The nearly 300 OSCE parliamentarians in attendance in Helsinki will also consider the special draft supplementary resolution “Helsinki +40: Building the OSCE of the Future.”

One of the products of the OSCE PA’s multi-year Helsinki +40 Project, the item offers concrete reform proposals for the OSCE on the occasion of this, the 40th anniversary year of the Organization’s founding document, the Helsinki Final Act.

The item will be considered during a special event commemorating the anniversary, to be held on 6 July in Finlandia Hall, the site of the signing of the Final Act in 1975.

For the full text of all draft supplementary items and other Annual Session documents, updated schedules, press registration and more, visit: http://www.oscepa.org/meetings/annual-sessions/2015-annual-session-helsinki

LIVE STREAMING of the Session will be available on www.oscepa.org.

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