The delegation of the Riigikogu (Parliament of Estonia) participates in the Annual Session of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE) in Birmingham, UK. The Session takes place from today until next Wednesday and focuses on European security. The Riigikogu is represented at the Assembly by Mati Raidma, Heljo Pikhof, and Marko Šorin.
Head of the Estonian delegation Mati Raidma pointed out that this year the OSCE PA Annual Session was held at the time the member states of the Assembly were facing very complicated challenges due to Russia’s aggression in Ukraine. “The debates at the Assembly will focus on war in Ukraine and its impact on European politics,” said Raidma, who participates in the work of the Committee on Political Affairs and Security at the Annual Session. “We must stand firmly by the Ukrainians and support their positions. There must be no room for hesitation in the current European security environment,” he added.
Member of the Estonian delegation Heljo Pikhof underlined that dialogue and cooperation between parliamentarians were essential for overcoming security challenges because a more secure world and stronger democracies could be achieved only by acting together. At the Annual Session, Pikhof participates in the work of the Committee on Democracy, Human Rights and Humanitarian Questions that will also cover the issues of migration, freedom of the media and combating disinformation.
Member of the delegation Marko Šorin said that besides the war and its impacts, the debates of the parliamentarians will focus on economic recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic and climate change. Šorin participates in the work of the Committee on Economic Affairs, Science, Technology and Environment.
The 2022 meeting is the first in-person Annual Session since 2019. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the 2020 Session was cancelled and the 2021 Session was held remotely. The Annual Session will be livestreamed on the Facebook and the YouTube channel of the Assembly.
The aim of the OSCE Parliamentary Assembly is to increase the involvement of its participating states in resolving European political and security issues in order to enhance civilian control over military affairs and to strengthen the responsibility and influence of members of parliament.
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