WASHINGTON-- U.S. Senator Benjamin L. Cardin (D-MD), Chairman of the Commission on Security and Cooperation in Europe (U.S. Helsinki Commission) and Co-Chairman Congressman Alcee L. Hastings (D-FL) announced today they will hold a hearing:
“Kazakhstan’s Leadership of the OSCE”
Tuesday, February 2, 2010
New Room: 1100 Longworth House Office Building
Kazakhstan’s Foreign Minister, Kanat Saudabayev, will testify before the Helsinki Commission in his capacity as Chairman-in-Office of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe. The hearing takes place as Kazakhstan launches its year-long chairmanship of the 56-nation OSCE, based in Vienna, Austria. Kazakhstan is the first former Soviet republic to serve in the top leadership role of organization best known for its work in promoting democracy, human rights and the rule of law.
Saudabayev is expected to discuss Astana’s ambitious agenda, including President Nazarbayev’s call for the convening of a summit of OSCE leaders in Kazakhstan in 2010. Other issues to be discussed include proposals on European security; prospects for OSCE involvement in Afghanistan; and efforts to improve implementation of commitments regarding fundamental human rights and freedoms. The Commission has closely monitored developments in Kazakhstan following independence, especially since 2003, when the country first announced its chairmanship bid.
The Commission on Security and Cooperation in Europe, also known as the U.S. Helsinki Commission, is an independent agency of the Federal Government charged with monitoring compliance with the Helsinki Accords and advancing comprehensive security through promotion of human rights, democracy, and economic, environmental and military cooperation in 56 countries. The Commission consists of nine members from the U.S. Senate, nine from the House of Representatives, and one member each from the Departments of State, Defense, and Commerce.