U.S. Statement on the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women

U.S. Statement on the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women As delivered by Ambassador James S. Gilmore III to the Permanent Council, Vienna November 26, 2020 Thank you, Mr. Chairman. In commemorating the International Day on the Elimination of Violence Against Women, the United States reaffirms its strong commitment to gender equality and eradicating …

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Right of Reply to the Russian Federation on the International Day to End Impunity for Crimes Against Journalists

Right of Reply to the Russian Federation on the International Day to End Impunity for Crimes Against Journalists As delivered  by Deputy Chief of Mission Courtney Austrian to the Permanent Council, Vienna November 6, 2020   Thank you, Madam Chair.   In respect for my colleagues time on a beautiful Friday, I will be brief but …

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Right of Reply to the Report under the Moscow Mechanism in Relation to Belarus

Right of Reply to the Report under the Moscow Mechanism in Relation to Belarus  As delivered  by Ambassador James S. Gilmore III to the Permanent Council, Vienna November 5, 2020   Thank you, Mr. Chairman. I’ve listened closely to the discussions that have been held from some of the other countries and I think it’s …

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U.S. National Statement on the Report under The Moscow Mechanism in Relation To Belarus

U.S. National Statement on the Report under The Moscow Mechanism in Relation To Belarus As delivered by Ambassador James S. Gilmore III to the Permanent Council, Vienna November 5, 2020   Thank you, Mr. Chairman.  Mr. Chairman, the United States thanks OSCE Moscow Mechanism Rapporteur Professor Wolfgang Benedek for his compelling, thorough, and exceptionally well documented report.  …

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Joint Statement on the Report under The Moscow Mechanism in Relation to Belarus

Joint Statement on the Report under The Moscow Mechanism in Relation to Belarus Statement Delivered by H.E. René Rosager Dinesen, Ambassador of Denmark to the Permanent Council, Vienna November 5, 2020   Mr Chair, I am delivering this statement on behalf of the following delegations who, acting together, on 17 September invoked the Moscow Mechanism …

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Right of Reply on “Gross Violations of Human Rights in the USA” Raised by Russia

Right of Reply on “Gross Violations of Human Rights in the USA” Raised by Russia As delivered by Deputy Chief of Mission Courtney Austrian to the Permanent Council, Vienna October 29, 2020 Thank you, Mr. Chair. Since the distinguished representative from Russia has mentioned my country, I’d like to exercise my Right of Reply. As …

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Response to the Report by the OSCE Special Representative and Coordinator for Combating Trafficking in Human Beings, Val Richey

Response to the Report by the OSCE Special Representative and Coordinator for Combating Trafficking in Human Beings, Val Richey As delivered by Ambassador James S. Gilmore III to the Permanent Council, Vienna October 15, 2020   Thank you, Mr. Chairperson.    The United States welcomes OSCE Special Representative and Coordinator on Combatting Trafficking in Human Beings …

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Statement at the Human Dimension Webinar on Defending and Promoting Rule of Law Principles

Statement at the Human Dimension Webinar on Defending and Promoting Rule of Law Principles Thirty years ago, our heads of state and government gathered in Paris and voiced one of the most critical tenets of our relations: “We undertake to build, consolidate, and strengthen democracy as the only system of government of our nations.” The …

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Statement at the Human Dimension Webinar: Combating Racism and Discrimination against the Roma and Sinti rights

Statement at the Human Dimension Webinar: Combating Racism and Discrimination against the Roma and Sinti rights October 5, 2020 The United States appreciates the opportunity to address the issue of combating racism and discrimination against the Roma and Sinti at today’s webinar.  While we regret that we were unable to meet at the Human Dimension Implementation …

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On Developments in the Human Dimension in the OSCE Region

On Developments in the Human Dimension in the OSCE Region As delivered by Political Counselor Elisabeth Rosenstock-Siller to the Permanent Council, Vienna October 1, 2020 Mr. Chair, the United States deeply regrets that the ongoing CoViD-19 pandemic prevented us from convening in Warsaw for the annual Human Dimension Implementation Meeting.  We look forward to doing …

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Introductory Remarks for the Film Screening of “Love, Sonia” at HDIM 2019

Introductory Remarks for the Film Screening of “Love, Sonia” As prepared for delivery by Deputy Assistant Secretary Roger D. Carstens, Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights, and Labor during the 2019 Human Dimension Implementation Meeting in Warsaw Thursday, 19 September 2019 The United States is pleased to cosponsor this ODIHR event. Raising awareness of trafficking in …

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US Statements at the 2019 OSCE Human Dimension Implementation Meeting

HDIM brings together hundreds of civil society representatives and government officials from North America, Europe, and Central Asia for talks to advance human rights and fundamental freedoms. These participants review how the 57 OSCE participating States are implementing the full range of their human rights commitments, including those on: fundamental freedoms of expression, peaceful assembly, …

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Ambassador Gilmore and UK Ambassador Neil Bush discuss OSCE contribution to Euro-Atlantic security

Ambassador Gilmore and UK Ambassador Neil Bush discuss OSCE contribution to Euro-Atlantic security PRESS RELEASE | August 28, 2019 USOSCE Ambassador James Gilmore and Ambassador Neil Bush, Head of the United Kingdom’s delegation to the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE), met on August 29 to confer on vital emerging foreign policy for …

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Joint Statement on Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms

JOINT STATEMENT ON HUMAN RIGHTS AND FUNDAMENTAL FREEDOMS As delivered by Ambassador René Dinesen, Permanent Representation of Denmark to the OSCE, at the closing session of the 2018 OSCE Ministerial Council meeting, December 7, 2018, Milan, Italy I have the honor to make this statement on behalf of the following 45 participating States: Albania, Andorra, …

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Remarks at a Ukraine-Hosted Side Event on Russian Aggression in Crimea and the Sea of Azov

Remarks at the Ukraine-Hosted Side Event at the 2018 OSCE Ministerial Council On Russian Aggression in Crimea, the Kerch Strait, and the Sea of Azov As delivered by Assistant Secretary of State A. Wess Mitchell December 6, 2018 Thank you, Pavlo, for organizing this important event. The past four years of Russian aggression against Ukraine …

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USA at the 2018 OSCE Human Dimension Implementation Meeting

U.S. DEPARTMENT OF STATE Office of the Spokesperson For Immediate Release MEDIA NOTE September 7, 2018 U.S. Delegation to the 2018 OSCE Human Dimension Implementation Meeting Ambassador Michael G. Kozak will lead the U.S. delegation to the Human Dimension Implementation Meeting (HDIM) of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE), to be held …

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Interview with U.S. Delegation Head Ambassador Michael Kozak on the 2017 OSCE HDIM

Interview with U.S. Delegation Head Ambassador Michael Kozak on the 2017 OSCE HDIM On September 13, 2017, the Security and Human Rights Monitor  published an interview with Ambassador Michael Kozak, the Head of the U.S. Delegation. In the interview he outlined the main issues of concern for the United States at the 2017 OSCE Human Dimension Implementation Meeting. Questions were prepared by Stephanie Liechtenstein, …

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Reply to the Opening Session of the RFOM Conference “Media Freedom in Volatile Environments”

We agree that we can all do more to strengthen journalist protections.  We agree that there is a need for more fact-based reporting.  And we agree that these issues need to be addressed democratically and in a manner consistent with OSCE principles and commitments.

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Response to Altai Efendiev, Secretary General of the Organization for Democracy and Economic Development

We share the concerns of Organization for Democracy and Economic Development member states about the active and protracted conflicts in this region, and are deeply concerned by continuing violations of member states’ sovereignty and territorial integrity.

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On Continued Reports of Arrests, Unlawful Detention, Torture, and Killing of Gay Men by the Chechen Government

The Human Rights Watch report, which appears to us to be well documented and to rely on independent sources in Chechnya, gives a timeline of events, provides multiple victims’ accounts of the violence perpetrated against them, and offers recommendations to Russian authorities, foreign governments, and international bodies.

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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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Joint Statement on the International Day Against Homophobia, Transphobia and Biphobia

We do not expect attitudes about LGBTI persons to change overnight, but we do expect that political leaders will lead the fight against hate crimes and intolerance. They must ensure the ability of LGBTI persons to exercise their human rights and fundamental freedoms, including the right to express themselves, to associate, and to peacefully assemble.

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Responses to the Russian Federation Statement on Privacy Concerns

National security matters are an issue of public debate in the United States, a debate which involves civil society, human rights activists, the media, journalists, bloggers, comedians, and any number of other individuals and organizations, all of which are free to express themselves, organize, associate, and peacefully assemble to make their views heard.

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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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Russia’s Continued Misuse of Terrorism and Extremism Laws to Restrict the Freedom of Thought, Conscience, Religion or Belief

We urge Russia to respect the human right of all to exercise the fundamental freedom of thought, conscience, religion or belief– including the right to profess and practice one’s religion alone or in community with others — in accordance with its OSCE commitments and international obligations.

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On Continued Reports of Arrests, Unlawful Detention, Torture, and Killing of Gay Men by the Chechen Government

The United States continues to be disturbed by reports of arrests, unlawful detention, torture, and killings of people in Chechnya based on their sexual orientation, as well as those subjected to abuse by association. These violations and abuses of human rights cannot be ignored.

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Response to the Head of the OSCE Mission to Bosnia and Herzegovina

Ambassador Moore, the ongoing involvement of your Mission in supporting the country’s priorities remains a vital part of stability and reconciliation in Bosnia and Herzegovina. The OSCE Mission continues to assist the host government with implementation of reforms and strengthening the rule of law, democratic institutions, and mechanisms for the protection of human rights.

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Response to the Director of the OSCE Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights

ODIHR is leading the way on numerous areas of critical importance to the comprehensive and lasting security of our region. ODIHR’s work on tolerance and non-discrimination, in particular regarding combating violent hate crimes, anti-Semitism, and intolerance towards Roma and Sinti, is essential at a time when intolerance is on the rise throughout the region

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Russia’s Misuse of Terrorism and Extremism Laws to Restrict the Freedom of Thought, Conscience, Religion or Belief

Mr. Chair, colleagues, let me be clear – the threat to our region from violent extremism and terrorism is real. However, the prosecution of members of peaceful religious minority groups for “extremism” serves only to distract from and undermine our mutual efforts to combat true violent threats.

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Restrictions on the Freedoms of Expression, Association and Peaceful Assembly in the Russian Federation

The Russian people, like people everywhere, deserve a government that supports an open marketplace of ideas, transparent and accountable governance, equal treatment under the law, and the ability to exercise their rights without fear of retribution.

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Ambassador Haley’s Remarks to the UN Security Council on Conflicts in Europe

The OSCE is playing a crucial role observing and monitoring the situation in eastern Ukraine. U.S. bonds with NATO and the OSCE have stood the test of time. These are institutions that bring together partners on both sides of the Atlantic Ocean to defend our shared ideals.

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Reply to the Russian Federation on Ukraine

In regards to the question from the Russian delegation about the U.S. position with respect to the recent escalation of violence in eastern Ukraine, it is the assessment of the United States that these are combined Russian-separatist forces and that Russia continues to provide the materiel, financial, and other direct support that fuels the conflict …

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Response to Cyprus Foreign Minister and Chair of the Committee of Ministers of the Council of Europe | Statement to the PC

Security through a rules-based international order founded on the protection of human rights and inclusive, democratic societies can best be achieved when international organizations such as the OSCE and the Council of Europe work in concert to protect and promote our common values.

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Ongoing Violations of Freedom of Expression in Russia | Statement to the PC

Ongoing Violations of Freedom of Expression in Russia  |  Statement to the PC As delivered by Deputy Chief of Mission Kate M. Byrnes to the Permanent Council, Vienna January 19, 2017 The United States is concerned about the December 28 decision by Chechnya’s Supreme Court to uphold the conviction of Zhalaudi Geriev, a local independent …

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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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Ambassador Baer’s Interview with Gazeta.ru

One of the things that gets misunderstood is that while it is true that it is difficult to reach consensus today in the OSCE, on most things, there is agreement by at least 55 or 56 States. It is usually one or two holdouts. When it’s one, it’s usually the Russian Federation. And when it’s …

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On the Ministerial Council decision on the OSCE’s Role in the Governance of Large Movements of Migrants and Refugees | Interpretative Statement

In connection with the Ministerial Council decision just adopted on the OSCE’s Role in the Governance of Large Movements of Migrants and Refugees, the United States would like to make the following interpretative statement under paragraph IV.1(A)6 of the OSCE Rules of Procedure. The United States believes that this phenomenon is truly a multi-dimensional, cross-cutting …

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On the Ministerial Decision on the OSCE’s Role in the Governance of Large Movements of Migrants and Refugees | Joint Interpretative Statement

In connection with the adoption of the Ministerial Decision on the OSCE’s Role in the Governance of Large Movements of Migrants and Refugees, we would like to make the following interpretative statement under paragraph IV.1(A)6 of the OSCE Rules of Procedure: The delegations of Azerbaijan, Canada, Georgia, Latvia, Lithuania, Sweden, Ukraine, and the United States …

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Secretary of State John Kerry at the Opening Session of the OSCE Ministerial | Statement to the 2016 Ministerial Council

Friends and colleagues, we meet in Hamburg today to reaffirm the same idea that tied us together in Helsinki 41 years ago: that our collective security is directly linked to the growth of our economies and the protection of basic human rights.

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Response to the Reports by the Three Committee Chairs | Statement to the PC

The United States joins other delegations in expressing its appreciation to each of the distinguished Chairs for their work. We are also grateful for all those who participate constructively in the three committees, which have done so much to advance the work of this Organization and help participating States fulfill their OSCE commitments. Regarding the …

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Concern about Freedom of Association in Turkey | Statement to the PC

Colleagues, more than twenty years ago in Copenhagen, our governments committed to “ensure that individuals are permitted to exercise the right to association, including the right to form, join and participate effectively in non-governmental organizations which seek the promotion and protection of human rights and fundamental freedoms, including trade unions and human rights monitoring groups.” …

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Continued Efforts to Silence and Intimidate Independent Voices and Civil Society in Russia | Statement to the PC

The United States is deeply troubled by reports that Ildar Dadin, a Russian activist who is serving a two-and-a-half-year prison term, has been subjected to threats, mistreatment, and torture in prison. Last week, in a letter he wrote and smuggled out of prison, he reported shocking conditions and widespread mistreatment of prisoners, including himself. Mr. …

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On the Unjust Sentencing of Giyas Ibrahimov in Azerbaijan | Statement to the PC

The United States is troubled by the October 25 decision of an Azerbaijani court to sentence N!DA activist Giyas Ibrahimov to ten years in prison on charges of drug possession in what is widely considered to be politically motivated prosecution.  Amnesty International reported that while in custody Mr. Ibrahimov was tortured into confessing to a …

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Response to Peter Maurer, International Committee of the Red Cross President | Statement to the PC

I would like to start by expressing our sincere gratitude to President Maurer for his remarks and thoughtful recommendations on behalf of the International Committee of the Red Cross. We first met in Washington several years ago in our previous capacities. It has been a real pleasure to see you and your success in your …

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Response to ODIHR’s Director on the 2016 Human Dimension Implementation Meeting | Statement to the PC

Director Link, the United States welcomes you back to the Permanent Council and thanks you for your report on the 2016 Human Dimension Implementation Meeting. On behalf of my delegation here in Vienna, and our colleagues from Washington, Moscow, and Baku who were part of the U.S. delegation to HDIM, I would like thank you, …

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Right of Reply at the Closing Plenary of HDIM 2016

The Russian Federation made yet another effort to blame Ukraine for the Russian Federation’s military intervention in that country.  The absurdity of this claim is matched only by the Russian Delegation’s claim that the Munich agreement was responsible for WWII and in effect that the Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact to military divide our host country and other …

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Closing Remarks | Statement at the Closing Plenary of HDIM 2016

As the 2016 HDIM draws to a close, my delegation wishes to share some observations that will shape our approach to the OSCE Ministerial in Hamburg. First: Helsinki Final Act Principles linking respect for human rights within states to lasting security among states could not be more relevant. These foundational principles are under siege and …

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Any Other Business | Statement at Closing Plenary of HDIM 2016

The United States has used this agenda item to follow up on the invocation of the Moscow Mechanism. It is up to us, the participating States, to remain actively engaged on the concerns which gave rise to the invocation of the Mechanism until they are resolved. We welcome Turkmenistan’s participation in this meeting, and hope …

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Some OSCE Governments Are Revealing Their Weakness

No confident government would be frightened by a human rights defender. So what do crackdowns on activists by certain OSCE governments tell us? At the 2016 HDIM, taking place now in Warsaw , we’ve been speaking out against what we call the ‘shrinking space’ for civil society in many parts of the OSCE region. Civil society activists perform a vital role in …

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Rights of the Child | Right of Reply at Working Session 16 of the 2016 HDIM

The distinguished delegate of the Russian Federation implied that re-adoption and the sale of children were widespread practice in the U.S. To the contrary, in our experience, the vast majority of adoptive placements result in successful and permanent placement of children into loving homes.  As in every country, sometimes the challenges are too big for …

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Rights of the Child, Part 2 | Statement at Working Session 17 of the 2016 HDIM

The United States remains committed to combatting the sexual exploitation of children. Child sex tourism, in which an individual from one country travels to another country and while there engages in sexual activity with a child, is a serious concern – and a serious crime. As the United States is a country of origin of …

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Roma and Sinti Issues | Statement at Working Session 15 of the 2016 HDIM

Two weeks ago, ODIHR and the German chairmanship organized a conference on the role of political leaders in countering discrimination, racism, and bias-motivated crimes against Roma. This conference built on an excellent side event convened during last year’s Human Dimension Implementation Meeting. We commend Germany and ODIHR for continuing to focus on this problem as …

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Ensuring Equal Opportunity for Women and Men | Statement at Working Session 14 of HDIM 2016

Equal opportunity for women and men in all spheres of life is critical to building resilient, democratic societies; supporting open and accountable governance; ending extreme poverty; furthering international peace and security; growing vibrant market economies; and addressing pressing health and education challenges. One of the biggest threats to reaching these goals is gender-based violence. As …

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Freedom of Movement | Statement at Working Session 13 of HDIM 2016

In Vienna in 1989, all participating States committed to, “respect the right of everyone to freedom of movement and residence within the borders of each State, and to leave any country, including his own, and to return to his country.” This right is still not fully respected in all participating States. Let me make it …

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Ambassador Baer’s Interview with VOA Azerbaijan Service September 27, 2016

QUESTION:  Recently President Aliyev accused you of being mainly responsible for the closure of the OSCE office in Baku.  How would you comment on these statements? AMBASSADOR BAER:  I was surprised to see that President Aliyev was talking about me.  His claim is not supported by the facts.  Unfortunately, the reason why the OSCE office …

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