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HELSINKI COMMISSION TO HOLD HEARING ON U.S. POLICY TOWARDS THE OSCE

WASHINGTON – The Commission on Security and Cooperation in Europe (U.S. Helsinki Commission) announced today the following hearing:

“U.S. Policy and the OSCE: Making Good on Commitments”

Thursday July 28, 2011

1:30 p.m.

210 Cannon House Office Building

The OSCE region faces many challenges, including unresolved conflicts, ethnic tension, corruption and lack of good governance, racism and intolerance, and trafficking in persons. Challenges also include authoritarian regimes which fail to respect freedom of media, expression, assembly, association, and religion, and also obstruct the work of civil society and human rights defenders in their countries. The 2010 OSCE summit – the Organization’s first in ten years – reconfirmed commitment to the OSCE principles enshrined in prior decisions but was not able to agree on what the OSCE’s priorities and future work should be.  The upcoming Ministerial meeting in Vilnius, Lithuania, will provide a second chance to set priorities.

The hearing will discuss U.S. policy towards the OSCE, including the steps the Organization should take to promote participating States’ implementation of their commitments in the three dimensions of security: political-military security, economic security and human rights. It will also look at what the U.S. believes should emerge from the Vilnius Ministerial Meeting in December this year. 

Witnesses:

  • Assistant Secretary Philip H. Gordon, U.S. Department of State Office of European and Eurasian Affairs
  • Assistant Secretary Michael H. Posner, U.S. Department of State Office of Democracy, Human Rights, and Labor 
  • Assistant Secretary Alexander Vershbow, U.S. Department of Defense Office of International Security Affairs
  • Dr. Michael Haltzel, Senior Fellow, Center for Transatlantic Relations, Johns Hopkins University SAIS
  • Catherine Fitzpatrick, Consultant, Jacob Blaustein Institute for the Advancement of Human Rights

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