UNITED represented at OSCE Parallel Civil Society Conference

On 5th and 6th of December 2016, more than 100 NGO representatives, among others the Programme Coordinator of UNITED, gathered in Vienna to discuss urgent human rights matters and their impact in the OSCE region.

The Vienna Declaration on ‘Preventing Security Measures from Eclipsing Human Rights: Human Rights Are the Core of the Answer rather than an Obstacle to Addressing Terrorism’ was adopted during the meeting, calling on OSCE executive structures and participating States to work to ensure that security measures and concerns do not eclipse the respect for human rights.

as well as civil society recommendations on the OSCE executive structures and participating States were given to OSCE Chairperson-in-Office and Austria’s Foreign Minister Sebastian Kurz. The recommendations were adopted by more than 100 NGO representatives who met during the Parallel Civil Society Conference, which was organized by the Civic Solidarity Platform, a coalition of NGOs from across the OSCE region.

“I thank the Civic Solidarity Platform for their tireless efforts and their good co-operation during our Chairmanship,” said Kurz as he received the recommendations. “I am very pleased that the declaration of the Civic Solidarity Platform focuses on the topic of countering radicalization and terrorism while fully respecting human rights and the rule of law. Your assessment and call to the OSCE participating States to ensure that such counter-terrorism or anti-extremism measures are not misused as a pretext to clamp down on independent or critical voices is essential.”

Corallina Lopez Curzi, Programme Co-ordinator at the Italian Coalition for Civil Liberties and Rights (CILD), who presented the recommendations to Kurz, said: “Civil society is needed more than ever to safeguard the effectiveness, credibility and very ‘raison d’etre’ of the OSCE. The OSCE’s Human Dimension is at the core of the answer to peace and security, rather than an obstacle.”

To read more, click here.