GT PC address 170119George Tsereteli addresses the OSCE Permanent Council in Vienna, 17 Jan. 2019VIENNA, 18 January 2019 – OSCE Parliamentary Assembly President George Tsereteli (Georgia) has wrapped up a visit to Vienna, in which he addressed the ambassadors of the OSCE’s 57 participating States and held a number of bilateral meetings with OSCE counterparts.

In his address to the Permanent Council on Thursday, President Tsereteli urged doing more for the security of citizens of the OSCE area, including by increasing efforts on democracy, human rights and civil liberties. He highlighted positive developments but regretted that too many people remain victims of unresolved conflicts or human rights violations.

“The environment we are in and the behavior of several participating States clearly demonstrates the need for more sustainability in the OSCE’s work and to provide the OSCE with the resources it needs to do its job,” President Tsereteli said. “With East-West relations now at their lowest point since the end of the Cold War, what we need is a strong OSCE that can serve as a forum for real confidence-building.”

He noted that “scarce financial resources, diminished trust and misperceptions or a diminished sense of purpose for multilateralism are serious obstacles we must tackle when defining a medium- to long-term strategy for our Organization.” He highlighted the PA’s position regarding the need for a reform of the con-sensus rule and establish modalities that allow for this organization to function.

He also noted the OSCE PA’s belief in the strong value the field presences add to the OSCE’s work.

The President stressed that the new Slovak OSCE Chairmanship’s emphasis of co-operation to benefit those we ultimately serve mirrors the Assembly's focus on delivering effective results. “At the OSCE PA,” he said, “we try our best to be useful. When doing so we apply the Slovak guideline ‘ambition and realism’.”

Joined by OSCE PA Secretary General Roberto Montella, Tsereteli emphasized the importance of the PA promoting co-operation with the Representative on Freedom of the Media on individual cases.

President Tsereteli and Secretary General Montella met on Wednesday with the President of the Austrian National Council and Head of the Delegation of Austria to the OSCE PA Wolfgang Sobotka for talks focused on the crisis in and around Ukraine. While in Vienna, President Tsereteli met with Reinhold Lopatka, the Deputy Head of the Austrian Delegation, for talks on the work and priorities of the Austrian delegation, as well as future PA activities, including election observation and participation in OSCE events.

In meetings with OSCE Secretary General Thomas Greminger, OSCE Representative on Media Freedom Harlem Désir and Permanent Representative of Slovakia Radomir Bohac earlier in the week, discussions focused on ways to further strengthen institutional co-operation and make use of the parliamentary toolbox in support of OSCE commitments and priorities. Tsereteli emphasized the importance of the PA promoting co-operation with the Representative on Freedom of the Media on individual cases.

Tsereteli also exchanged with the PA’s Special Representative on Central Asia, Roman Haider, regarding his plans in the run-up to the 2019 Annual Session.

For the President's full remarks, please click here.

Video of the address is also available on YouTube.