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UK Parliamentarians to attend annual session of OSCE Parliamentary Assembly in Birmingham

1 July 2022

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A cross-party delegation of MPs and Peers will be attending the forthcoming annual session of the Organization for Stability and Co-operation in Europe Parliamentary Assembly (OSCE PA), which takes place from 2-6 July in Birmingham.

The OSCE is the world’s largest regional security organisation, and this is the first time in almost two decades that the UK Parliament has hosted the annual session. It will be the first in-person Annual Session since 2019, due to the COVID-related cancellation of the 2020 Annual Session and the holding of a Remote Session in 2021.

The OSCE PA brings together 323 delegates from 56 parliaments, plus a guest of honour from the Holy See. Established by the 1990 Paris Summit with the aim of advancing the aim of comprehensive security, this will be the OSCE PA’s 29th annual session. The Russian Delegation will not be attending the Annual Session following a decision of the United Kingdom Government. The Belarussian Delegation will also not be in attendance.

A cross-party delegation of ten MPs and Peers will attend the annual session, led by Rt Hon John Whittingdale MP, who will address the opening plenary on 2 July. The Speakers of both Houses of Parliament will attend the Annual Session. Mr Whittingdale will also hold an event on 3 July in his capacity as the Assembly’s Special Rapporteur on War Crimes in Ukraine.

During the session, the UK delegation will host a joint dinner with the US delegation and hold a series of bilateral meetings with delegates from countries including Armenia, Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan, Turkey and Uzbekistan.

The delegation will also meet the President of the Assembly, Margareta Cederfelt from Sweden, and receive a pre-session briefing from FCDO Minister Lord Ahmed, and the UK Ambassador to the OSCE, Ambassador Neil Bush.

Ahead of the session, Mr Whittingdale commented: “Now more than ever, co-operation on security is of paramount importance.

“I am looking forward to a productive series of meetings and discussions with counterparts from across the OSCE.

“The organisation’s founding principles are the renunciation of the use of force, respect for sovereign and territorial integrity and protection of human rights and freedoms. These are especially important today as we work to create a safe and secure environment for all.”

Image:Alex Hammond / FCO via Flickr