Christine Muttonen elected OSCE PA President

PNND Co-President Christine Muttonen elected to be President of the Parliamentary Assembly for the Organisation of Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE PA).

Muttonnen emphasises the important role parliamentarians can play for peace and security.

PNND congratulates Christine Muttonen MP (Austria) for her election as President of the Parliamentary Assembly for the Organisation of Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE PA) at its Annual Assembly in Tbilisi, Georgia yesterday.

The OSCE PA comprises delegations from the parliaments of the 57 OSCE countries - from the Commonwealth of Independent States (former Soviet countries) in the East, through Europe and including Canada and the USA in the West.

In accepting the Presidency, Muttonnen highlighted the vital role that parliamentarians can and do play in developing peace and security, especially between countries in conflict.

Christine Muttonen speaking at the OSCE Parliamentary Assembly

Parliamentarians can meet to build dialogue and understanding, discuss tension-reduction and conflict management initiatives, and promote peace and disarmament. They can allocate national budgets to peacekeeping, and they can contribute in the field by monitoring peace and human rights agreements, the building of democratic process including fair elections, and the implementation of cooperative projects.

The OSCE develops, supports and implements cooperative security approaches, which in most cases have a much greater capacity to keep the peace and resolve conflicts than military approaches.

Muttonen has been at the forefront of these in her previous roles as OSCE PA Vice-President and Special Representative for Central and Eastern Asia, and  Deputy Head of the Austrian Delegation to OSCE PA.

Muttonnen has also been a leader in the OSCE PA on the issue of reducing nuclear threats and building support for nuclear disarmament.

At the 24th Annual Session of the OSCE Parliamentary Assembly in Helsinki she was a keynote speaker at the PNND side event on Diplomacy, the United Nations and Nuclear Threats: Europe and the Middle East, and she introduced language on nuclear risk reduction and nuclear disarmament that was adopted in the Final Helsinki Declaration. See OSCE Parliamentary body highlights nuclear threats - supports humanitarian pledge.

At the OSCE PA in Georgia this weekend, Muttonnen was a speaker at the PNND side-event on Reducing nuclear tensions and supporting nuclear disarmament negotiations.

Her delegation to the OSCE PA in Georgia introduced nuclear disarmament language which was adopted in the Tbilisi Declaration.

Excerpt from the Tbilisi Declaration

The OSCE Parliamentary Assembly:

  • Expressing deep concern at increased nuclear threats arising from the deteriorating relationship between the Russian Federation and NATO, including potential violations of the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces (INF) Treaty, statements indicating an increased readiness to use nuclear weapons, increasing numbers of military incidents between NATO and Russian forces, lack of transparency over deployments of tactical nuclear weapons by both sides, and statements indicating potential plans to deploy nuclear weapons to additional territories in Europe and locations in Russia;
  • Welcoming proposals made at the United Nations Open-Ended Working Group on Taking Forward Multilateral Nuclear Disarmament Negotiations for the commencement in 2017 of multilateral nuclear disarmament negotiations and the decision of the United Nations General Assembly to hold an international conference on nuclear disarmament in 2018;
  • Calls on all OSCE States with nuclear weapons or under extended nuclear deterrence relationships to reduce the risks of a nuclear war by taking nuclear weapons off high-alert and by adopting no-first-use policies; 
  • Calls on all participating OSCE States to support the commencement in 2017 of United Nations-facilitated deliberations and negotiations on multilateral nuclear disarmament; 
  • Calls on all participating OSCE States to participate in the 2018 UN international conference on nuclear disarmament at the highest level, to include parliamentarians in their delegations to the conference and to pursue the adoption of nuclear risk reduction, transparency and disarmament measures at the conference.