Toggle navigation menu.
Helsinki Default Banner

Commission, State Department Discuss Kazakhstan’s 2010 Chairmanship of OSCE

WASHINGTON – The Commission on Security and Cooperation in Europe (U.S. Helsinki Commission) and the State Department today concluded a two-day discussion with a delegation of officials from Kazakhstan about the Central Asia country’s upcoming chairmanship of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE).

The meeting held in the U.S. Capitol Visitor Center brought together U.S Government officials and Kazakhstani officials, including the Ambassadors to the U.S. and the OSCE, to exchange ideas about the challenges and priorities awaiting Kazakhstan when it begins its year-long term as Chair-in-Office on January 1. The Commission also facilitated a roundtable with several U.S. non-governmental organizations.

Discussion topics ranged from freedom of speech, media, association, and religion to the role of NGOs, as well as how Kazakhstan would respond to international crises or violations of OSCE commitments and lead institutions within the OSCE that monitor human rights and elections.

U.S. Senator Benjamin L. Cardin (D-MD), Chairman of the Helsinki Commission, raised the trial of human rights activist Yevgeniy Zhovtis, echoing concerns raised by the U.S. Embassy in Astana, the Office of Democratic Institutions and Human Rights and human rights organizations worldwide.

As Chair, Kazakhstan will lead the OSCE, setting the 2010 agenda to encourage compliance with commitments made by the Vienna-based organization’s 56 countries, covering democracy, human rights, rule of law, as well as political-military and economic dimensions.

“Despite Kazakhstan’s troubled human rights record, we are prepared to work with them as they assume the Chairmanship of the OSCE. Kazakhstan now must demonstrate it is willing to fulfill the responsibilities of such leadership by speaking out on human rights issues in the OSCE region and continuing needed work on its own democracy,” Senator Cardin said.

“The Chairman-in-Office must be a role model in upholding OSCE commitments. In the coming year, the Helsinki Commission will remain vigilant to be sure Kazakhstan, as chair of one of the leading human rights organizations in the world, keeps a spotlight on human rights violations throughout the 56-country OSCE region,” said Congressman Alcee L. Hastings (D-FL), Co-Chairman of the Helsinki Commission.

“The U.S. Mission to the OSCE is pleased that a Kazakhstani delegation led by Ambassador Abdrakhmanov visited Washington in advance of Kazakhstan assuming the important role of Chairmanship-in-Office of the OSCE. We welcomed the delegates sharing their perspectives on the issues and engaging in a meaningful dialogue with Members of Congress and the Department of State,” said Carol Fuller, Acting Chief of Mission of the U.S. Mission to the OSCE.

Photos available at www.flickr.com/photos/helsinkicommission.

Media contact

Category
Country
Issue
Date
Filter Topics Open Close
Hearings

Vladimir Kara-Murza: Putin’s Personal Prisoner

Sep 20, 2023

Stream here: HEARING: Vladimir Kara-Murza: Putin’s Personal Prisoner – YouTube Vladimir Kara-Murza, a father, husband, and a freedom fighter, has been in detention for over five hundred days and is currently being transferred to a prison in Siberia. As he is being moved, his family has lost all contact with him and are faced with worry […]

screen-reader-text
Hearings

Rescuing Ukrainian Children and Women from Russia...

Jul 26, 2023

Russia’s war has exposed the critical need for U.S. and international action to both save Ukraine’s children and to put in place measures for the future that will protect children, as well as vulnerable refugees around the world, from wartime atrocities and from other threats such as human trafficking. Ukraine’s children are suffering serious injury […]

screen-reader-text
Hearings

Russia’s Alpine Assets: Money Laundering and S...

Jul 18, 2023

Switzerland has for years been a primary destination for Russian money laundering and, since the Russian invasion of Ukraine, a weak link in Western sanctions enforcement. This Helsinki Commission hearing examined Switzerland’s poor track record of rooting out dirty Russian money and examined potential paths forward for U.S. policymakers in persuading Switzerland to uphold its […]

screen-reader-text
Articles

United States Demonstrates Global Leadership on Ukra...

Jul 14, 2023

The Helsinki Commission’s four senior leaders helmed the United States’ bicameral, bipartisan delegation to the 30th Annual Session of the OSCE Parliamentary Assembly last week in Vancouver, Canada. Co-Chairman Senator Ben Cardin (MD), serving as Head of Delegation, was joined by Chairman Joe Wilson (SC-02) as Deputy Head of Delegation as well as Ranking Members […]

screen-reader-text
Hearings

Supporting A Democratic and Secure Moldova

Jul 12, 2023

In recent years, Moldova has made notable steps to improve its democratic institutions and combat corruption. President Maia Sandu and her Party of Action and Solidarity (PAS) have spearheaded wide-ranging reforms and backed a number of high-profile anti-corruption cases. Moldova has also made strides toward greater integration with the European Union (EU). In 2022, the […]

screen-reader-text
Press Releases

Helsinki Commission Chair and Co-Chair Lead Delegati...

Jul 10, 2023

WASHINGTON—Helsinki Commission Co-Chair Senator Ben Cardin (MD) and Helsinki Commission Chair Representative Joe Wilson (SC-02) led a bipartisan Congressional delegation to the 30th Annual Session of the OSCE Parliamentary Assembly (OSCE PA) in Vancouver, Canada from June 30-July 4. As Head of Delegation and Deputy Head of Delegation respectively, Senator Cardin and Representative Wilson welcomed the […]

screen-reader-text
Press Releases

Hearing: Supporting a Democratic and Secure Moldova

Jul 06, 2023

Wednesday, July 12, 2023 2:00 pm Cannon House Office Building, Room 210 Live stream: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jm-R6rfQbCo In recent years, Moldova has enacted numerous reforms under current Moldovan President Maia Sandu to strengthen its democratic institutions, combat corruption and kleptocracy, and integrate with the European Union. In 2022, the European Union granted Moldova “Candidate” status in its […]

screen-reader-text
Press Releases

Helsinki Commission Leadership Celebrate Pardon of N...

Jun 23, 2023

Washington—Today, the Chairman and Ranking Member of the Commission on Security and Cooperation in Europe, also known as the U.S. Helsinki Commission, Representative Joe Wilson (SC-02) and Ranking Member Steve Cohen (TN-09), applauded Georgian President Salome Zourabichvili’s decision to issue a presidential pardon for journalist Nikoloz “Nika” Gvaramia. Mr. Gvaramia, an outspoken media figure and […]

screen-reader-text
Press Releases

HELSINKI COMMISSION SENDS APPEAL TO GEORGIAN PRESIDE...

Apr 28, 2023

WASHINGTON— The leadership of the Commission on Security and Cooperation in Europe, also known as the U.S. Helsinki Commission, Chairman Representative Joe Wilson (SC-02), Co-Chairman Senator Ben Cardin (MD), and Ranking Members Representative Steve Cohen (TN-09) and Senator Roger Wicker (MS) sent a letter to Georgian President Salome Zourabichvili urging her to intervene to break […]

screen-reader-text
Press Releases

Helsinki Commission Leadership Statement on Georgian...

Mar 06, 2023

WASHINGTON—In response to news that the Georgian parliament is considering Russian-style foreign agent legislation, which would have a chilling effect on Georgia’s vibrant civil society, Helsinki Commission Chairman Representative Joe Wilson (SC-2), Co-Chairman Senator Ben Cardin (MD), Ranking Member Representative Steve Cohen (TN-09), and Ranking Member Senator Roger Wicker (MS) issued the following joint statement: “Since regaining independence, the Georgian people have clearly and […]

screen-reader-text
Hearings

North Macedonia’s Leadership of the OSCE in a ...

Feb 28, 2023

North Macedonia has taken up leadership of the world’s largest regional security organization—the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE)—a year into Putin’s brutal invasion of Ukraine. Much of the OSCE’s focus over the past year has revolved around responses to the war, including using the organization to condemn Russian aggression and hold the […]

screen-reader-text
Press Releases

HEARING: NORTH MACEDONIA’S LEADERSHIP OF THE OSCE IN...

Feb 24, 2023

Tuesday, February 28, 2023 1:00 p.m. to 2:00 p.m. Streaming: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xNgAOyC9f5g North Macedonia has taken up leadership of the world’s largest regional security organization—the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE)—a year into Putin’s brutal, full-scale invasion of Ukraine. Much of the OSCE’s focus over the past year has revolved around responses to the war, […]

screen-reader-text