Interpretative Statement on the Decision on the Programme Office in Dushanbe

The United States has joined consensus on the new mandate for the OSCE field presence in Tajikistan, now called the Program Office in Dushanbe. We do so with the understanding that the new mandate will not be used to restrict the autonomy of the Office and its ability to respond flexibly to challenges or issues ...
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Response to Russia’s Criticism of ODIHR Election Observation

Response to Russia’s Criticism of ODIHR Election Observation As delivered by Chargé d’Affaires, a.i. Kate M. Byrnes to the Permanent Council, Vienna April 27, 2017 Thank you, Mr. Chair. The Russian Federation’s claim that ODIHR’s determination regarding how to observe the French elections is another example of an “unbalanced” approach by ODIHR is unjustified and ...
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Reply to Russia on the Office of the High Representative for Bosnia and Herzegovina

Reply to Russia on the Office of the High Representative for Bosnia and Herzegovina As delivered by Chargé d’Affaires, a.i. Kate M. Byrnes to the Permanent Council, Vienna April 27, 201 Thank you, Mr. Chair. The Russian Federation referred to the Office of the High Representative (OHR) as an obsolete international guardian that should be ...
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Russian Efforts to Undermine Georgia’s Sovereignty and Territorial Integrity

The United States’ position on Abkhazia and South Ossetia is clear and consistent – both of these regions are integral parts of Georgia. In this context, the United States does not recognize the results of an election conducted illegitimately in Georgian territory without the consent of the Government of Georgia.
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Press Release: United States Joins 21 Other Partner OSCE Delegations in Presenting the 2017 Democracy Defender Award to Russia’s Golos Movement

"As the only independent electoral watchdog in Russia, the Golos Movement provides an essential voice before, during, and after elections to monitor transparency, openness, and lawfulness, and identify electoral fraud and abuse."
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Free and Fair Elections

Free and Fair Elections: Making Each Vote Count Free and fair elections are the foundation of every healthy democracy, ensuring that government authority derives from the will of the people. But to have confidence that their elections are truly free and fair, voters need to be assured of more than just a well-managed day of ...
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OSCE Observation of the U.S. General Elections | Statement to the PC

The United States recognizes and appreciates the strong interest among the participating States in our general election that was held on November 8. We were honored to have observers from more than 30 OSCE participating States and one Partner for Cooperation observe our elections as part of the OSCE election observation mission. We understand that ...
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On Parliamentary Elections in Georgia | Statement to the PC

The United States congratulates the people of Georgia for the successful completion of parliamentary elections, which affirm Georgia as a leader of democratic reform in the region. We note that the OSCE election observation mission assessed both the October 8 elections and the October 30 run-offs as competitive and administered in a manner that respected the rights of ...
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Democratic Institutions | Right of Reply at Working Session 1 of HDIM 2016

We would like to exercise our right of reply regarding the statements of the Azerbaijan Citizen Labor Rights Protection League. The gentleman implied that U.S. civil society is unable to do shadow reports on U.S. human rights performance. Nothing could be further from the truth, as those who monitor the activities of our independent civil ...
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Democratic Institutions | Statement at Working Session 1 of HDIM 2016

Elections are an essential element of democracy and a cornerstone of democratic institutions. The U.S. greatly appreciates the OSCE’s invaluable role in election observation – indeed, this organization has developed what is known as the “gold standard” for its methodology on evaluating elections.
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OSCE Needs Assessment Mission for General Elections in the United States: Statement to the PC

Following our invitation to the OSCE Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights (ODIHR), the OSCE Parliamentary Assembly, and participating States to observe the November 8 U.S. general election, the United States hosted representatives of ODIHR and the Parliamentary Assembly for a Needs Assessment Mission May 16-20.  This was the result of weeks of close ...
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On the Postponement of Elections in Macedonia: Statement to the PC

The decision by Macedonia’s Parliament to postpone the June 5 elections presents a renewed opportunity for the Parliament and the political leaders to demonstrate through their actions a firm commitment to the Przino Agreement and its principles – rule of law, accountability, inclusiveness, and credible elections. This framework remains the best way to move the ...
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Invitation to Observe the November 8 General Elections in the United States: Statement at the PC

On November 8, 2016, millions of American citizens will exercise their right to vote in the U.S. general elections. Americans will cast their ballots in the Presidential election, as well as the Congressional elections in which a total of 469 seats in the U.S. Congress are up for election. In addition, they will vote to ...
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Azerbaijan’s Parliamentary Elections: Statement to the PC

The United States notes that Azerbaijan held parliamentary elections on November 1. We regret that the government of Azerbaijan did not allow the OSCE’s Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights (ODIHR) to field its necessary number of observers, and therefore ODIHR was not able to monitor the elections. Without ODIHR participation, it is impossible ...
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On Turkey’s Parliamentary Elections: Statement to the PC

The United States congratulates the people of Turkey on their participation in Sunday’s parliamentary elections. The United States notes the OSCE preliminary assessment said that parliamentary elections offered voters a variety of choices, were well-organized by the election administration, and noted that candidate registration was overall inclusive. The assessment, however, also raised concerns, including “the ...
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On Local Elections in Ukraine: Statement to the PC

We congratulate millions of people in Ukraine for exercising their right to vote in Saturday’s elections, demonstrating that democracy in Ukraine remains resilient. These elections take on added importance because of the enhanced responsibilities authorities and local governments will inherit as the Ukrainian parliament completes the process of constitutional reform and decentralization. The elections took ...
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Reply to Azerbaijan on ODIHR’s Election Observation Mandate: Statement to the PC

The United States deeply regrets that Azerbaijan has decided once again to raise this issue. The director of ODIHR has not violated his mandate. Azerbaijan has regrettably sought to interfere with and restrict ODIHR in the exercise of its mandate, and this has resulted in the regrettable situation where the kind of credible and robust ...
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On the presidential election in Belarus: Statement to the PC

The United States joins other participating States in welcoming the peaceful conduct of the October 11 presidential election in Belarus. We were, however, disappointed that the election fell significantly short of Belarus’ OSCE commitments and international standards for holding democratic elections, as demonstrated by reports from the OSCE ODIHR and Parliamentary Assembly election observation mission. ...
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On Kyrgyzstan’s parliamentary elections: Statement to the PC

The United States welcomes the peaceful conduct of the October 4 parliamentary elections in Kyrgyzstan. The true competitiveness of these elections was unique in Central Asia and is an achievement for which the Kyrgyz government and people can be proud. We note the conclusion of the OSCE observers from the Parliamentary Assembly and the Office ...
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Reply to Azerbaijan on ODIHR Election Observation: Statement to the PC

I wanted to just respond to some of the comments made by our distinguished Azerbaijani colleague, as well as by the European Union. I recall the ambassador of Norway’s point of a few minutes ago that this seems an odd conversation – and particularly this conversation, which is about a personal accusation leveled at the ...
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Closing Reinforced Plenary – Any Other Business: HDIM 2015

The United States, for several years, has used this agenda item to follow up on the invocation of the Moscow Mechanism concerning Turkmenistan and Belarus. The United States believes it is important that we continue to use our human rights mechanisms – and that means we, the participating States, need to take action based on the outcomes of ...
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Democratic institutions, including democratic elections: HDIM 2015, Session 9

More than 20 years ago, OSCE participating States offered a visionary blueprint for building pluralistic, democratic societies underpinned by free elections. As stated in the 1994 CSCE Budapest Summit Declaration, democratic institutions are among “the foundations of peace and security, representing a crucial contribution to conflict prevention, within a comprehensive concept of security.” Participating States ...
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Response to Azerbaijan on OSCE Election Observation Commitments: Statement to the PC

We regret that ODIHR will not be observing parliamentary elections in Azerbaijan on November 1. In a September 1 press statement, Azerbaijan called ODIHR’s intention to deploy 30 long-term and 300 short-term observers “excessive” for Azerbaijan’s November 1 parliamentary election. The statement said that Azerbaijan was “ready to welcome” only six long-term and up to ...
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Response to the Head of the OSCE Mission in Skopje: Statement to the PC

The United States welcomes Ambassador Suomalainen to the Permanent Council in her new capacity and thanks her for a comprehensive and detailed report. Ambassador Suomalainen, congratulations on your selection to lead the OSCE Mission to Skopje during a particularly difficult time in the country’s development. We enthusiastically support your selection and look forward to working ...
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Response to the Foreign Minister of Macedonia and the Special Representative of the OSCE Chairmanship for the Western Balkans: Statement to the PC

We welcome Foreign Minister Poposki and Ambassador Stoudmann to the Permanent Council, and thank you both for your statements. The recent events in Macedonia have been the subject of considerable attention at the Permanent Council. The disclosures of illegal wiretaps and the information included in those recordings, involving allegations of electoral fraud, intimidation of media, ...
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Parliamentary Elections in Turkey: Statement to the PC

The United States followed with interest the parliamentary elections in Turkey on June 7. We, like others, noted the high level of citizen engagement, as over fifty million Turkish citizens exercised their right to vote and tens of thousands of volunteers observed the polls on election day — thereby demonstrating the enduring vitality of Turkey’s ...
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Response to the OSCE Project Coordinator in Uzbekistan: Statement to the PC

The United States welcomes Ambassador Szabó back to the Permanent Council. Ambassador, we thank you for your report and your ongoing efforts to support Uzbekistan in implementing its OSCE commitments. We appreciate your stated goal of maintaining meaningful work in all three OSCE dimensions and conducting projects in various parts of Uzbekistan. Thank you for ...
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On Presidential Elections in Kazakhstan: Statement to the PC

The United States concurs with the preliminary findings of the OSCE/ODIHR election observation mission on the April 26 presidential elections in Kazakhstan, which concluded that, “preparations for the 26 April election were efficiently administered, however, necessary reforms for holding genuine democratic elections still have yet to materialize.” The lack of a genuine political opposition limited ...
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U.S. echoes ODIHR’s concerns about Uzbekistan’s presidential election: Statement to the PC

The United States echoes the OSCE/ODIHR election observation mission’s concerns about Uzbekistan’s March 29 presidential elections, through which President Karimov was reelected to his fourth consecutive term. The observation mission’s report noted that the elections not only contravened the constitutional limit of two consecutive presidential terms, but were further marked by a lack of genuine ...
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Tajikistan government’s ongoing attempts to silence opposition voices: Statement to the PC

The United States expresses its deep concern over the Government of Tajikistan’s ongoing attempts to silence voices of political opposition. International observers characterized Tajikistan’s March 1 parliamentary elections as lacking in meaningful political alternatives, due to government interference in the campaign activities of such opposition parties as the Islamic Revival Party of Tajikistan (IRPT). The ...
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On Tajikistan’s March 2015 Parliamentary Elections: Statement to the PC

We also take note of the preliminary assessment issued by OSCE/ODIHR on behalf of the observers from ODIHR and the Parliamentary Assembly about the parliamentary elections in Tajikistan. We also noted the assessment on the restrictions of political space and the lack of a level playing field, and we call on the government of Tajikistan ...
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Restriction of Space for Political Opposition in Tajikistan: Statement to the PC

The United States expresses its deep concern over the ongoing restriction of space for political opposition by the authorities of Tajikistan in advance of the March 1 parliamentary elections. These actions include undue limitations of the freedoms of expression, association, and peaceful assembly—all of which are guaranteed in Tajikistan’s constitution and are core OSCE commitments—through ...
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