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234 Ford House Office Building
Washington, D.C. 20515-6460
Hon. Christopher H. Smith, Chairman
Hon. Benjamin L. Cardin, Co-Chairman
www.csce.gov
Media Contact: Shelly Han
202.225.1901
July 28, 2011

HEARING ON U.S. POLICY TOWARDS THE OSCE


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.





Witnesses:



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




Countries

United States of America

Issues

OSCE Institutions/Structures/Meetings


   
 

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Senator Cardin and Estonian Defense Minister Jaak Aaviksoo discuss security issues at a meeting in Tallinn, Estonia on July 7, 2010.