OSCE Chairmanship is a chance to learn experience of European parliaments


Meiram Baigarin

OSCE Chairmanship is a chance to learn experience of European parliamentsAt the opening of the III session of the Parliament of the fourth convocation President Nursultan Nazarbayev made a speech in which other than making an analysis of the current economic situation and giving instructions regarding the Parliament’s work to ensure fast development in the post-crisis period, he once again reminded of the importance of Kazakhstan’s forthcoming chairmanship of the Organization of Security and Cooperation in Europe.

“The future year will be special for our nation. It will be marked by a historical moment – Kazakhstan will chair the Organization of Security and Cooperation in Europe. This important mission implies enormous responsibility and at the same time it gives us big opportunities. Our deputies are having active work ahead with their foreign colleagues, participation in different commissions and groups of the Organization and the Parliament Assembly”, the President said.

He underlined the necessity to use this opportunity in order to study the experience of the member countries’ parliaments and perhaps apply it in Kazakhstan in order to enhance the lawmaking system in the republic and make it meet the European standards.

In April 1991 the high-level parliamentary leaders from all OSCE participating countries gathered in Madrid for the particular purpose of creating a CSCE Parliamentary Assembly, as requested by their respective Heads of State or Government. The meeting resulted in adoption of the Madrid Declaration, which set forth the basic rules of procedure, working methods, size, mandate and distribution of votes of the Assembly.

In July 1992 the first formal session of the Parliamentary Assembly was held in Budapest. The Assembly decided, inter alia, to accept an invitation of the Danish Parliament to establish an International Secretariat in Copenhagen.

The main activities of the OSCE Parliamentary Assembly include Annual Sessions, Winter and Fall Meetings, Conferences & Seminars, Election Monitoring Missions, and Field Visits, as well as Interaction with other OSCE Institutions and Inter-parliamentary co-operation.

The Assembly has developed extensive co-operation with other parliamentary bodies, such as the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe, the European Parliament, the NATO Parliamentary Assembly, the Inter-parliamentary Union, the Assembly of the Western European Union, and the Inter-parliamentary Assembly of the CIS.

The OSCE PA consists of 315 parliamentarians. The first session was held July 3-5, 1992 in Budapest. In June 29 – July 3, 2008 the PA gathered in Astana. The last 18th sitting took place in Vilnius this year.

The Kazakhstani delegation was headed by Chairman of the Committee for International Relations, Defense and Security Kuanush Sultanov. At this session Kuanysh Sultanov voiced the initiative of President Nazarbayev to declare August 29 the world day of renunciation of weapons of mass destruction. The main report of K. Sultanov touched upon Kazakhstan’s initiatives on ensuring stability and security both in Central Asian region and worldwide. Upon the results of the 18th session there was passed Vilnius declaration which contains 28 resolutions in various directions of the OSCE activity.

In Vilnius Kazakhstani parliamentarians met with the members of the friendship group Seima of the Lithuanian Republic for cooperation with the Parliament of Kazakhstan. Lithuanian politicians highly appraised the level of development of bilateral relations and spoke for closer interaction within Kazakhstan’s chairmanship of the OSCE in 2010.

Joao Soares (Portugal) who was elected President of the Assembly at the 17th session in Astana also highly appreciated the contribution of Kazakhstan’s parliamentarians to the development of the Assembly’s activity and the entire Organization.

June 2009 Joao Soares paid a working visit to Almaty where he me with Vice-President of the Assembly Kassym-Zhomart Tokayev. During the meeting they discussed the questions of preparation of Kazakhstan to be the chair of the Organization in 2010 and exchanged opinions on participation of the Assembly mission of observance of elections in the OSCE space.