Milan, 5 December 2018 – On the eve of the 25th OSCE Ministerial Council, top-level OSCE representatives attended the closing session of the OSCE Parallel Civil Society Conference that took place today. They received recommendations directed at the OSCE’s executive and political bodies, institutions and participating States.
The recommendations, adopted by the civil society representatives at the end of the conference, are comprised of two documents, the first an appeal to the OSCE to listen to the voice of civil society and the second a statement on safeguarding NGO participation in OSCE events.
A third document, the Milano Declaration, contains proposals for reviving the OSCE comprehensive security concept, rebuilding democratic institutions and revitalizing the resilience of societies.
“Fresh ideas are always very welcome, even more in these difficult times, and we will certainly study your recommendations with care,” said OSCE Secretary General Thomas Greminger.
Referring to the practice initiated by the Swiss OSCE Chairmanship in 2014 of engaging in a human rights self-assessment, as proposed by the Civic Solidarity Platform that organizes the annual conference, the Secretary General welcomed the incoming Slovakian Chairmanship’s commitment to this process.
Marco Clemente, representing the 2018 Italian OSCE Chairmanship, emphasized the role of the Chairmanship during the year and the fact that only through an open and genuine exchange with civil society can participating States examine the implementation of OSCE commitments.
The Parallel Civil Society Conference has been held annually on the eve of OSCE Ministerial Council meetings since the 2010 OSCE Summit in Astana.