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Helsinki Commission Releases U.S. Statement on Any Other Business at OSCE Human Dimension Implementation Meeting

WARSAW, POLAND – The following statement on Any Other Business was delivered by the United States at the Human Dimension Implementation Meeting of the Organization for Security and Cooperation currently being held in Warsaw, Poland:

Any Other Business

Statement Delivered by Nicole Sobotka

U.S. Delegation to the

OSCE Human Dimension Implementation Meeting

Madame Moderator,

The U.S. delegation believes we need to focus our efforts and follow-up some of the issues discussed here in supplementary meetings. The U.S. delegation therefore recommends the following three topics for the 2002 supplementary human dimension implementation meetings.

First, there has been a lot of discussion of shortcomings in several electoral processes this year. Transparent, fair elections are the foundation of stable societies and the rule of law. To this end we suggest that a supplementary meeting should be held on the role of domestic observers in the electoral process.

Secondly, we believe that police play an instrumental role in protecting, or sometimes in violating, human rights. In particular, we believe that police can play a constructive role in building confidence in multi cultural societies. A supplementary meeting could focus on the role of community policing in building confidence between minorities, and between minority communities and themselves.

Thirdly, we believe that the process of taking censuses is very important in the building of confidence in minority communities. One supplementary meeting could address best practices of the methods of census conduct and data collection.

Lastly, the U.S. has noted the proposals made by Ambassador Stoudman, the Norwegian Refugee Council, the UN Secretary General’s Representative for IDPs, and GUAAM State’s that the OSCE increase its focus on internally displaced persons. In light of nearly 3.5 million displaced persons, as the NRC indicated, are in the OSCE region — and that many may be deprived of their fundamental rights — next year’s ODIHR seminar could focus on the legal and human rights of internally displaced persons.

Thank you.

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