Media Contact: Elizabeth Pryor
(Washington) - The United States Helsinki Commission will hold a hearing to examine U.S. policy toward the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE).
U.S. Policy Toward the OSCE
Tuesday, September 9, 2003
1:00 PM - 3:00 PM
334 Cannon House Office Building
The Honorable A. Elizabeth Jones, Assistant Secretary of State for European and Eurasian Affairs
The Honorable Lorne W. Craner, Assistant Secretary of State for Democracy, Human Rights, and Labor
This hearing will examine U.S. policy in a critical region of the world and Washington's relations with the OSCE--the largest regional organization encompassing all of Europe, the former Soviet Union, the United States and Canada. At the heart of OSCE is the explicit and implicit connection between security, democratic values and human rights. The hearing will address specific human rights concerns, including the ongoing conflicts in Chechnya and the Caucasus, the deteriorating situation in Belarus, and the dismal human rights climate in Central Asia, as well as initiatives to fight human trafficking, combat anti-Semitism and related violence, and stem international crime and terrorism. The hearing takes place as the United States prepares for the main OSCE human rights meeting to take place in Warsaw, Poland beginning in early October.
Since the end of the Cold War, the OSCE has evolved into a singular instrument for advancing U.S. foreign policy goals in Eurasia, including the promotion of the principles of democracy, human rights and the rule of law. It remains the only pan-European forum for military-security negotiations.
An un-official transcript will be available on the Helsinki Commission's Internet web site at http://www.csce.gov within 24 hours of the hearing.
The United States Helsinki Commission, an independent federal agency, by law monitors and encourages progress in implementing provisions of the Helsinki Accords. The Commission, created in 1976, is composed of nine Senators, nine Representatives and one official each from the Departments of State, Defense and Commerce.