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Civil Society Meets in Advance of OSCE Ministerial Council

03 December 2011

The Netherlands Helsinki Committee is co-organizer of the OSCE Civil Society Parallel Conference in Vilnius, Lithuania, on 4 and 5 December. This event brings together representatives of civil society organizations from all across the OSCE region. This effort is modelled on last years parallel conference in Astana, prior to the OSCE Summit. There will be around 70 participants in this Parallel Conference from around the OSCE region.

The parallel conference is organised to highlight the commitment towards the Helsinki Process and the importance of respect for human as part of the OSCE concept of security. The human dimension of security should be a main responsibility of all OSCE States and cannot be deemed a matter of internal affairs. This fundamental principle of the Helsinki process is being undermined by a number of states.

The 2010 OSCE Summit in Astana failed to take action to counter this tendency. Therefore, reforms are required to meet the contemporary challenges concerning the human dimension.

This year’s Parallel Conference aims at motivating the OSCE participating States to adhere to the commitments previously made on the human dimension.

The subjects which are going to be discussed are:

  • Freedom of civil society to operate, including freedom of association, freedom of assembly, freedom of expression, and security of human rights defenders;
  • Weakening of democratic institutions and processes;
  • Rule of law;
  • Freedom of movement;
  • Ethnic conflicts and minority rights;
  • Freedom of expression, including media freedom and freedom on the Internet;
  • OSCE Reform;
  • OSCE Engagement with civil society.

For more information see: Agenda