VILNIUS, LITHUANIA-– Senator Benjamin L. Cardin (D-MD), Chairman of the U.S. Helsinki Commission was re-elected today as Vice President of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe Parliamentary Assembly (OSCE PA) at the group’s 18th Annual Session.
“I am honored to be re-elected by my fellow parliamentarians as Vice President of the Assembly and greatly look forward to another three years of strengthening the OSCE and expanding its use as a key international forum to tackle human rights, climate change, and a host of security concerns across Europe, Central Asia and North America,” Chairman Cardin said.
First elected in 2006 by his peers from the 56 countries throughout the OSCE region, Chairman Cardin now embarks on a second three-year term working to set the policy agenda for the OSCE.
“Chairman Cardin has shown tremendous dedication to the urgent causes of human rights, the rule of law, energy, and security. He is a constant advocate for expanding the use of the OSCE for multilateral dialogue and speaks with candor about the work we all can do to improve our nations and help them to live up to international commitments. I look forward to his continued leadership,” said Helsinki Commission Co-Chairman Alcee L. Hastings (D-FL), a past President of the OSCE PA.
Cardin’s election caps off a week during which the U.S. successfully passed several resolutions related to energy security, cooperation in Afghanistan, women’s healthcare, and freedom of expression as part of the Vilnius Declaration, helping to steer the direction of the OSCE.
The Parliamentary Assembly also elected Commissioner Congressman Robert B. Aderholt (R-AL) Thursday as Vice Chair of the Committee on Democracy, Human Rights and Humanitarian Questions