The Estonian delegation is taking part in the OSCE Parliamentary Assembly Annual Session in Vienna, Austria. The Session takes place in a hybrid format from today until next Tuesday, and focuses on international cooperation during the global crisis, and the role of the parliaments in all this. The Riigikogu is represented by Mati Raidma, Heljo Pikhof, and Marko Šorin.
The Head of Delegation Mati Raidma explained that this year the OSCE PA Annual Session is taking place in a situation where most of the frozen conflicts have flared up and escalated into armed conflicts. “We observe the freshly erupted situation in Belarus and still need to resolve the issue of Ukrainian territorial integrity. Estonia’s active participation in the work of the Parliamentary Assembly thus adds a much needed contribution to balancing the security situation in the region,” Raidma said. The Head of the Delegation is taking part in the work of the Committee on Political Affairs and Security, and will attend the meeting of the Standing Committee.
Member of the delegation Heljo Pikhof admitted that the COVID-19 pandemic has had an impact on everyone’s life one way or another, and has tested the resilience of societies. “No country was fully ready for these trials which have lasted for a year and a half now, and this has eroded the people’s trust in democratic institutions. In the OSCE PA General Committee on Democracy, Human Rights and Humanitarian Questions we will today discuss ways of rebuilding this trust and improving the protection of human rights,” Pikhof said.
Member of the delegation Marko Šorin will take part in the work of the General Committee on Economic Affairs, Science, Technology and Environment on Thursday, to discuss increasing the role of parliaments in the post-pandemic world.
The Annual Session will elect the President of the Assembly, Vice-Presidents and leaders of committees. At the plenary sitting next Tuesday, reports will be heard about the activities of the Assembly in observing elections and in ad hoc committees, and about the work of the special representatives.
The main aim of OSCE is to involve its participating states closer into resolving European political and security issues in order to enhance civilian control over military questions and to increase the responsibility and influence of members of parliament.
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