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OSCE Parliamentary Assembly kicks-off in Istanbul

By Ana Robakidze
Tuesday, July 2
The 22nd Annual Session of the OSCE Parliamentary Assembly took start in Istanbul on June 29th. 57 member countries are participating in the session and discussed security, political and economic issues.

Delegations from the member states participated in various bilateral meetings which are being held alongside the sessions. The Georgian delegation has several issues to be discussed at the session, but the most important will be restoring the OSCE mission in the conflict regions of the country.

One of the important resolutions that are pending and that needs to be adopted during the session is offered by the Committee of Political Affairs and Security. The draft resolution calls on finding a peaceful and viable solution to the conflicts, including those in the Caucasus and Moldova. According the document, the OSCE Parliamentary Assembly fully supports restoring the work of the OSCE missions in Georgia and the process of the Geneva Talks as one of the tools for solving the conflicts in Georgia.

“In this connection, the Parliamentary Assembly repeats its recommendation to re-establish a meaningful OSCE presence in Georgia, and to maintain and strengthen the OSCE Offices in Baku and Yerevan, as well as the OSCE Mission in Moldova," the resolution says.

The Georgian delegation says the resolution is a great success for the country. Apart from supporting the OSCE mission in Georgia, the document also calls on member states to create new tools for starting the de-occupation process of Georgia. The amendment supporting the de-occupation process was proposed to the Committee of Political Affairs and Security by the Georgian side and received support from all member states, apart from Russia.

“It was a significant success for the Georgian side,” Parliament majority member, Victor Dolidze, commented after the session. The member of the Georgian delegation says the OSCE confirmed the necessity of de-occupying Georgian territories and unconditionally returning IDPs to their homes and protecting their right to property in the conflict regions.

“The OSCE and Europe once again emphasized that restoring the territorial integrity of Georgia is an absolute request of the Western world,” Akaki Minashvili, Georgian MP from the opposition party, said in Istanbul. Minashvili also emphasized the fact that the word “de-occupation” is written in the draft resolution, and the document does not use any alternative words.

Parliament Chairman, David Usuapashvili, who has already held several bilateral meetings within the framework of the annual session, commented on the importance of the OSCE session and said that many important resolutions are being discussed in Istanbul, drafted with the active participation of the Georgia side. According to Usupashvili, Georgia is trying to strengthen the OSCE role in the country. Also, the delegation has already identified whom to support in the Assembly Presidential elections.

According to the OSCE official web-page “the debates and votes of the Assembly during the session will culminate in passage of the 2013 Istanbul Declaration to help shape the OSCE and national policy.” The participant states he will also elect a new assembly president and other leadership positions during the session.