WASHINGTON--Senator Benjamin L. Cardin (D-MD), Chairman of the Commission on Security and Cooperation in Europe (U.S. Helsinki Commission) will lead a bipartisan Congressional delegation to Oslo, Norway July 5 to July 11, 2010.
The full delegation includes:
Chairman Senator Benjamin L. Cardin (D-MD),
Commission Ranking Republican Member Congressman Chris Smith (R-NJ),
Assistant Senate Majority Leader Dick Durbin (D-IL),
Commissioner Senator Tom Udall (D-NM),
Commissioner Representative Louise McIntosh Slaughter (D-NY),
Commissioner Representative Robert B. Aderholt (R-AL),
Representative Lloyd Doggett (D-TX).
The delegation will participate in the 19th Annual Session of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe Parliamentary Assembly (OSCE PA), carrying resolutions on nuclear security, Mediterranean cooperation, combating human trafficking and protecting investigative journalists. Members will also push initiatives focusing on racism and xenophobia, and on the situation in Afghanistan. The resolutions passed become the final Oslo Declaration – helping to steer the direction of the OSCE.
For a list of the Parliamentary Assembly sessions open to the press, see www.oscepa.org. To arrange interviews, with the U.S. Delegation, contact Shelly Han at +1 (202) 351-1929 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Members will also stop in Svalbard, Norway (average high temperature 45 degrees) to view the effects of climate change at the Arctic Circle and examine the Svalbard Global Seed Vault, a facility that preserves more than 400 million types of seeds from all over the world as a safeguard for future crop diversity.
A side trip is also planned to attend high-level meetings in Tallinn, Estonia. Estonia, among the most wired nations, has provided significant aid to Afghanistan recently leading efforts to deploy e-government systems that can make parliament and voting more transparent and efficient.
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.