From today until next Monday, the OSCE Parliamentary Assembly meets for its Annual Session in Luxembourg. The theme of the Summer Session is the role of Parliaments in advancing sustainable development to promote security. The Riigikogu (Parliament of Estonia) is represented by Heljo Pikhof, Johannes Kert and Anti Poolamets.
Member of the Estonian Delegation Heljo Pikhof said that she participated in the work of the General Committee on Democracy, Human Rights and Humanitarian Questions, where debates on protecting children in conflict zones, educating schoolchildren to avoid human trafficking, and religious tolerance and overcoming discrimination against minority faiths would be held. Combating xenophobia, aggressive nationalism and intolerance will be spoken about as well.
Pikhof added that reducing the impact of migration among the youth and achieving gender equality would be discussed at the working lunch. “We will weigh different initiatives and share the experiences of countries on which initiatives could support young men. Besides educating young women, we have to speak of equal rights also to young men, so that they would understand what gender equality means,” Pikhof said.
Johannes Kert emphasised that he would highlight the issues of the conflict in East Ukraine and the militarisation of Crimea, the Black Sea and the Sea of Azov by Russia in the work of his committee. In Kert’s opinion, it is important that regardless of Russia’s aggressive policy, international organisations help improve the security and human rights situation in Abkhazia, Georgia and South Ossetia.
Anti Poolamets said that parliaments had a decisive role in migration governance and promoting dignified return policies. Poolamets thinks that terrorism and the challenges related to the return and relocation of foreign fighters need special attention.
The topics on the agenda of the 28th Annual Session of the OSCE Parliamentary Assembly also include the impact of Brexit, energy security, issues relating to climate change, fight against corruption and promoting of good governance.
At the Summer Session, the observers will give an overview of the reports on the recent OSCE election observation missions. Besides that, numerous bilateral meetings and thematic side events will be held. The Session will also include a meeting of the Assembly’s Standing Committee, and elections of the OSCE PA President, Vice-Presidents and heads of committees.
The work of the committees will culminate on 8 July in the adoption of the Luxembourg Declaration, containing recommendations to national governments, parliaments and the international community in the fields of political affairs, security, economics, environment, human rights and humanitarian questions.
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