WASHINGTON –Lithuania’s Foreign Minister, Audronius Ažubalis, will testify before the Helsinki Commission in his capacity as Chairman-in-Office of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE). The hearing takes place as Lithuania begins its year-long chairmanship of the 56-nation OSCE, based in Vienna, Austria, and best known for its work in promoting democracy, human rights and the rule of law.
“Lithuania’s Leadership of the OSCE”
Wednesday, February 16, 2011
562 Dirksen Senate Office Building
The Lithuanian chairmanship faces numerous challenges, including leading the OSCE response to the ongoing crackdown against dissent in Belarus following December’s flawed presidential elections, the further deterioration of human rights in the Russian Federation and elsewhere, including limitations on freedom of assembly and freedom of the media. Finding new ways to address protracted conflicts in the OSCE region will also be discussed. In addition, the Minister is expected to address the OSCE’s response to developments in Egypt and Tunisia, countries that are OSCE Mediterranean Partners for Cooperation.
Since assuming the OSCE chairmanship, Minister Ažubalis has visited Russia, Ukraine and Moldova in addition to consultations in Brussels with senior EU officials.