VILNIUS, LITHUANIA— Congressman Robert B. Aderholt (R-AL) was elected Vice Chair of the General Committee on Democracy, Human Rights and Humanitarian Questions today during the 18th Annual Session of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe Parliamentary Assembly (OSCE PA) in Vilnius, Lithuania.
“I am honored to be elected Vice Chair of this committee, and I look forward to representing U.S. interests and engagement abroad,” said Congressman Aderholt, a member of the Commission on Security and Cooperation in Europe (U.S. Helsinki Commission). “History has shown us that during times of economic hardship, vulnerable minorities often pay the price. Therefore, now more than ever, it is imperative that the United States play an active role in promoting human rights, individual liberties and ethnic and religious tolerance.”
As vice chair of the committee, Congressman Aderholt will provide leadership in setting the agenda on democracy and human rights issues before the Parliamentary Assembly. The Assembly helps steer the policy direction of the OSCE in monitoring and encouraging the 56 participating states to comply with international commitments on security, economic and environmental issues and human rights.
Senator Benjamin L. Cardin (D-MD), Chairman of the Commission on Security and Cooperation in Europe (U.S. Helsinki Commission), said, “I commend Congressman Aderholt for seeking a leadership position on the Human Rights Committee and am confident that Congressman Aderholt’s presence as Vice Chair will ensure the committee’s work remains relevant and responsive to the challenges our countries face in the years ahead.”
Co-Chairman Congressman Alcee L. Hastings (D-FL) said, “I congratulate my colleague in his ascension to Vice Chair, and believe that his lifetime commitment to human rights, including active participation in the U.S. Helsinki Commission, will serve him well in this new leadership capacity.”