234 Ford House Office Building
Washington, D.C. 20515-6460
Hon. Christopher H. Smith, Chairman
Hon. Benjamin L. Cardin, Co-Chairman
Media Contact: Shelly Han
July 28, 2011


WASHINGTON– The Commission on Security and Cooperation in Europe (U.S. Helsinki Commission) announced today the following hearing:

“U.S. Policy and the OSCE: Making Good on Commitments”

Thursday July 28, 2011

1:30 p.m.

210 Cannon House Office Building

The OSCE region faces many challenges, including unresolved conflicts, ethnic tension, corruption and lack of good governance, racism and intolerance, and trafficking in persons. Challenges also include authoritarian regimes which fail to respect freedom of media, expression, assembly, association, and religion, and also obstruct the work of civil society and human rights defenders in their countries. The 2010 OSCE summit – the Organization’s first in ten years – reconfirmed commitment to the OSCE principles enshrined in prior decisions but was not able to agree on what the OSCE’s priorities and future work should be. The upcoming Ministerial meeting in Vilnius, Lithuania, will provide a second chance to set priorities.

The hearing will discuss U.S. policy towards the OSCE, including the steps the Organization should take to promote participating States’ implementation of their commitments in the three dimensions of security: political-military security, economic security and human rights. It will also look at what the U.S. believes should emerge from the Vilnius Ministerial Meeting in December this year.


Assistant Secretary Philip H. Gordon, U.S. Department of State Office of European and Eurasian Affairs

Assistant Secretary Michael H. Posner, U.S. Department of State Office of Democracy, Human Rights, and Labor

Assistant Secretary Alexander Vershbow, U.S. Department of Defense Office of International Security Affairs

Dr. Michael Haltzel, Senior Fellow, Center for Transatlantic Relations, Johns Hopkins University SAIS

Catherine Fitzpatrick, Consultant, Jacob Blaustein Institute for the Advancement of Human Rights


United States of America


OSCE Institutions/Structures/Meetings


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Serbian Foreign Minister Ivica Dacic (C), who serves as Chairman-in-Office of the OSCE in 2015, meeting with House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy (L) and Helsinki Commission Chairman Chris Smith (R) immediately after the February 25 hearing on Serbia's leadership of the OSCE. (Feb. 2015)