Civil Society Issues Recommendations to the Osce Ministerial Council Meeting

On 5 December 2012 the Civic Solidarity Platform, a network of more than 50 human rights NGOs from throughout the OSCE region , has organized 2012 OSCE Parallel Civil Society Conference on the margins of the Dublin Ministerial Council meeting.

Building upon the tradition of the OSCE parallel civil society conferences in Astana in 2010 and Vilnius in 2011, the Civic Solidarity Platform developed a set of documents with civil society recommendations to the participants of the Ministerial Council meeting in Dublin on 6-7 December. These documents contain civil society analysis and recommendations on thematic priorities of the Irish OSCE Chairmanship (freedom of expression and racism and xenophobia), other alarming human dimension issues across the OSCE region, human dimensions issues in Ukraine in light of the country’s upcoming OSCE Chairmanship, and civil society recommendations on reform of the OSCE human dimension process.

The documents are addressed to governments of the OSCE participating States and all OSCE institutions working in the human dimension, including the current and the upcoming Chairmanships, the Permanent Council, the Human Dimension Committee, ODIHR, the OSCE Secretariat, the OSCE Parliamentary Assembly, the OSCE High Commissioner on National Minorities, the OSCE Representative on Freedom of the Media, and the OSCE field missions, offices and centres.

Activists from Azerbaijan, Belarus, Belgium, Georgia, Ireland, Lithuania, Moldova, the Netherlands, Norway, Russia, Serbia, Sweden, Turkmenistan, Ukraine, the United Kingdom, and other countries have discussed the documents and formally adopted them at the OSCE Parallel Civil Society Conference on 5 December in Dublin. The documents will be submitted to the Irish Chairmanship for distribution among the participants of the Ministerial Council meeting.

We hope that this analysis and recommendations will be studied carefully, used during discussions in Dublin and in the work of OSCE thereafter, and look forward to reaction of all interested stakeholders. While some of our recommendations may be implemented immediately, others require consistent efforts during a longer period of time as they relate to systemic problems. Therefore, we would like to draw attention to these recommendations of Ukraine, Switzerland and Serbia as the upcoming OSCE Chairmanships. We express our commitment to continued active engagement of civil society in the work of OSCE in the spirit of the Helisnki Principles and our determination to contribute towards full realization of respect for human rights and fundamental freedoms, democracy and the rule of law.