OSCE parliamentarians adopt Baku Declaration

15:26 02/07/2014 >> POLITICS

The OSCE Parliamentary Assembly has adopted the Baku Declaration,
lending political support to wide-ranging policy recommendations for
the OSCE and its 57 participating States in the fields of political
affairs and security, economics, the environment and human rights, the
OSCE PA press service reports.

The crisis in Ukraine is among the document's central themes.

The Declaration was adopted after 97 parliamentarians voted in favour
and 1 against at the conclusion of the 2014 OSCE Parliamentary
Assembly's Annual Session in the Azerbaijani capital.

Nine OSCE parliamentarians abstained, including members of the Russian
Delegation to the Assembly.

In its 140 clauses, the Baku Declaration encompasses the resolutions
of the PA's three General Committees -- the Committee on Political
Affairs and Security; the Committee on Economic Affairs, Science,
Technology and Environment; and the Committee on Democracy, Human
Rights and Humanitarian Questions.

Among its recommendations on political affairs and security, the
Declaration "Express[es] grave concern about the situation in Ukraine
and emphasiz[es] the role of the OSCE in engaging all parties in a
constructive dialogue, monitoring and supporting the implementation of
all OSCE principles and commitments on the ground, preventing further
escalation of the crisis and promoting a diplomatic process towards a
peaceful resolution to the crisis."

It also calls on Russia to "reverse the annexation of the Autonomous
Republic of Crimea and the city of Sevastopol, Ukraine."

The Declaration also advocates enhanced confidence-building measures
in the military sphere, democratic control of countries' armed forces
and a comprehensive assessment of cyber threats.

In the sphere of environmental issues and economics, the Declaration
calls for sustained work towards a new universal climate agreement,
regulations to limit the risk of financial crashes, and steps to
ensure the economic empowerment and property rights of women.

It also "encourages the OSCE and its participating States to work on
migration management to increase the benefits of migration while
reducing its potential negative implications."

The Declaration further focuses on the particular vulnerability of
mountainous regions to climate change and natural disasters and
supports initiatives to improve the efficiency of food production and
water management.

The Declaration also offers a diverse set of recommendations and
pronouncements in the democracy and human rights sphere -- from
"deploring" hate crimes against migrant workers to calling for a
redoubled fight against anti-Semitism to raising the cases of specific
individuals in the OSCE region.

The Declaration "expresses concern at the misuse of administrative
procedures and legislation to detain, imprison, intimidate or
otherwise silence human rights defenders and critics in numerous OSCE
participating States, including Azerbaijan, Belarus, Kazakhstan and
the Russian Federation."

It further "endorses the adoption by the Parliamentary Assembly of the
Council of Europe of a resolution confirming the definition of
'political prisoners.'"

It also calls upon Ukrainian authorities to fully investigate all
recent fatalities during the crisis in the country, and particularly
in Odessa.

The Declaration also asks the government of Turkmenistan to provide
information on the status of persons who have disappeared in the
country's prisons.

Several paragraphs focus on Azerbaijan, the host country for this
year's OSCE PA Annual Session, including an expression of "deep
concern at the situation of Mr. Anar Mammadli" and other "citizens who
have been victims of politicized court cases."

Several supplementary items were adopted by the Parliamentary Assembly
as an annex to the Baku Declaration.

They include resolutions on the prevention and prosecution of child
sex-trafficking, food security and limited water resources in the OSCE
area and an item that "condemns the clear, gross and uncorrected
violation of the Helsinki principles by the Russian Federation with
respect to Ukraine, including the particularly egregious violation of
that country's sovereignty and territorial integrity."

The resolution, initiated by U.S. Senator Benjamin Cardin, the Deputy
Head of the U.S. Delegation, was the focus of an at-times heated
parliamentary debate on 1 July.

Source: Panorama.am