Right of Reply to Russia on ODIHR Election Observations

U.S. State Department's Deputy Assistant Secretary Roger Carstens delivers a Right of Reply to Russia at HDIM's Working Session 3 on September 17, 2019. (Photo: OSCE)

Right of Reply to the Russian Federation during Working Session 3 on Democratic Institutions, including Democracy at the National, Regional, and Local Levels, and Democratic Elections

As delivered by Deputy Assistant Secretary Roger Carstens
Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights, and Labor
to the 2019 Human Dimension Implementation Meeting
Warsaw, September 17, 2019

I wish to exercise our right of reply in response to the intervention of the Russian Federation, which alleged that ODIHR electoral observation no longer represents the “gold standard.” I could not disagree more. ODIHR and the OSCE Parliamentary Assembly remain our best eyes and ears into the electoral process and practices of our countries.

Any “tarnishing,” I would argue, is the result of certain participating States’ disagreement with the organizations’ thoughtful and unbiased recommendations.

We are glad that free elections confer the legitimacy of government. We are also glad that the OSCE strives to support those free elections and democracy.

Thank you, Madam Chair.