Joint Statement on the Rights to Freedom of Expression, Association, and Peaceful Assembly: 2014 OSCE Ministerial Council

This statement is delivered on behalf of more than forty participating States that have co-sponsored the draft Ministerial Decisions on the right to freedom of expression and the rights to freedom of association and peaceful assembly.

This year we have seen regression in the implementation of fundamental freedoms and other human rights. We are convinced that the initiative on these draft decisions was timely and necessary, not least in the context of the crisis in and around Ukraine.

We support these draft decisions in response to the negative trend in the enjoyment of fundamental freedoms, both online and offline, including as reported by members of independent civil society at this year’s Human Dimension Implementation Meeting and this week’s Parallel Conference.

The violation of fundamental freedoms is too often becoming the norm in some participating States and has troubling consequences for NGOs, human rights defenders, journalists and others exercising their freedom of expression.

We will continue to promote the adoption of decisions on these topics under the Serbian Chairmanship in 2015 and encourage all participating States to align themselves with the sentiments expressed in this statement.

As delivered by Ambassador Auðunn Atlason, Permanent Representative of Iceland to the OSCE | 21st OSCE Ministerial Council, Basel | December 5, 2014

(The United States of America aligned itself with this statement)