ASRC: Stability and Security in light of Developments with Respect to Ukraine

Annual Security Review Conference: Special Session on Ensuring Security and Stability in the OSCE region in Light of Developments with Respect to Ukraine As delivered by Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for European and Eurasian Affairs Christopher Robinson, Vienna, June 25, 2019 With the conflict in Ukraine now in its sixth year, we should collectively ...
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Prosecution of Four Suspects in MH17 Case

Prosecution of Four Suspects in the MH17 Case As delivered by Acting Deputy Head of Mission Gregory Macris to the Permanent Council, Vienna June 20, 2019 As U.S. Secretary of State Michael Pompeo stated yesterday: “The United States welcomes the announcement today regarding the indictment of four individuals for their role in the downing of ...
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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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Russia’s Ongoing Violations in Ukraine

Ongoing Violations of International Law and Defiance of OSCE Principles and Commitments by the Russian Federation in Ukraine As delivered by Chargé d’Affaires, a.i. Harry Kamian to the Permanent Council, Vienna June 14, 2018 Mr. Chair, intense fighting near the Donetsk Filtration Station led to a temporary suspension of its operations last week, jeopardizing the ...
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On Russia’s Ongoing Violations in Ukraine

Ongoing Violations of International Law and Defiance of OSCE Principles and Commitments by the Russian Federation in Ukraine As delivered by Deputy Political Counselor Darren Perdue to the Permanent Council, Vienna November 16, 2017 Thank you, Mr. Chair. The conflict in the Donbas seems to have returned to an established pattern as we enter the ...
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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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Ongoing Violations of International Law and Defiance of OSCE Commitments by Russia in Ukraine

Within 30 meters of a hospital, there was a shell crater four meters in diameter and two meters deep, assessed to have been fired from a 152mm artillery piece located in “separatist”-controlled territory. Because a shell of this size will generally kill anything within 50 meters of impact, it caused extensive damage to the hospital.
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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 Chief Monitor of the OSCE Special Monitoring Mission to Ukraine and Special Representative of the OSCE Chairperson-in-Office in Ukraine

Russia’s aggression against Ukraine has shaken the very foundations of security and stability in Europe, and is antithetical to a vision of Europe that is whole, free, and at peace. The United States affirms its staunch support for Ukraine’s sovereignty, independence, and territorial integrity within its internationally-recognized borders.
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Ongoing Violations of International Law and Defiance of OSCE Principles by Russia

Only a visible, verifiable, and irreversible improvement in the security situation will allow progress on the Minsk agreements, starting with a real and sustainable ceasefire, disengagement of forces, and the withdrawal of heavy weapons. Yet Russia continues a pattern of behavior that undermines disengagement.
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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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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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Remarks by Secretary of State Tillerson to NATO-Ukraine Commission

The OSCE must be able to fulfill its mandate which included monitoring throughout the conflict zone and to the international border. And Russia must understand there is no basis to move forward on the political aspects of the Minsk agreements until there is visible, verifiable, and irreversible improvement in the security situation.
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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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Ongoing Violations of International Law and Defiance of OSCE Principles and Commitments by the Russian Federation in Ukraine

The surge in violence in eastern Ukraine provides yet another stark reminder of Russia’s ongoing aggression against its neighbor, a conflict Russia initiated and sustains. Over the course of the past week, the OSCE Special Monitoring Mission to Ukraine (SMM) counted the highest number of explosions by proscribed heavy weapons during the past year, with ...
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Ongoing Violations of International Law and Defiance of OSCE Commitments by Russia in Ukraine

Russian aggression in eastern Ukraine continues to cost lives every day. More than a million people remain displaced by fighting. The humanitarian crisis has worsened, as shelling periodically cuts off water and power to people living in the Donbas. The economy has been severely damaged. And OSCE monitors continue to face restrictions, harassment, and aggression.
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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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Ongoing Violations of International Law and Defiance of OSCE Principles and Commitments by the Russian Federation in Ukraine | Statement to the PC

This conflict will remain volatile until weapons proscribed by the Minsk agreements are withdrawn, and the framework decisions on disengagement and demining are fully implemented. Otherwise, there is little to stop small-scale clashes from escalating, and this conflict from continuing.
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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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On the Russian-Separatist Forces’ Offensive near Svitlodarsk, Ukraine | Statement to the PC

The United States expresses its deep concern over the offensive launched by combined Russian-separatist forces on Sunday, December 18, in what appears to have been a failed attempt to seize territory in strategic areas outside the town of Svitlodarsk, which is located near separatist-held Debaltseve. This brazen violation of the Minsk agreements is an issue ...
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TRANSCRIPT: Ambassador Baer’s Press Roundtable

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE December 15, 2016  Ambassador Baer’s Press Roundtable  December 15, 2016  Hofburg Palace Vienna, Austria  AMBASSADOR BAER:  Thanks everyone.  I know that this is supposed to be a conversation that is forward looking and that is looking specifically at the Austrian Chairmanship taking over next year, but in order to have some idea ...
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Reply to Russian Federation on Russia’s Ongoing Violations of Ukraine’s Sovereignty and Territorial Integrity | Statement to the PC

I wanted to respond, not really directly to our distinguished Russian colleague, but rather, to point out to the rest of my distinguished colleagues around this table – just picking up on that last point that we heard from the Russian delegation this morning: that all those who are interested in dialogue need to accept ...
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On Russia’s Ongoing Violations in Ukraine | Statement to the PC

Thank you, Mr. Chair.  Combined Russian-separatist forces continue to sustain the violence in eastern Ukraine, with hundreds of explosions registered daily and proscribed heavy weapons used, including multiple launch rocket systems. Despite overwhelming evidence that Russia arms, trains, and fights alongside so-called “separatists,” Moscow continues to deny involvement. On December 9, fighters in the separatist-held ...
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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 Conflict in Georgia | Joint Statement of the Group of Friends of Georgia to the 2016 OSCE Ministerial Council

We reaffirm our full support for Georgia’s sovereignty and territorial integrity within its internationally recognized borders. We underline the need for a peaceful resolution over the conflict in Georgia, based on full respect of the UN Charter, the Helsinki Final Act, and the fundamental norms and principles of international law. We call upon the Russian Federation to fully implement ...
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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 OSCE’s Chief Monitor in Ukraine, Ambassador Apakan, and the CiO’s Special Representative, Ambassador Sajdik

The United States welcomes Ambassadors Apakan and Sajdik back to the Permanent Council. Ambassadors, we thank you for your report, and for your tireless efforts to see the Minsk agreements implemented in full. Ambassador Apakan, please convey our gratitude to your monitors and staff who serve in difficult and at times dangerous conditions. This week, ...
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Reply to Russian Federation on Response to Report by RFoM Dunja Mijatović | Statement to the PC

Thank you, Mr. Chair. Allow me to make a response to the comments just made by our distinguished Russian colleague. First, our distinguished Russian colleague said that not a word was said about concerns about journalists in the United States. That is simply false. In fact, my statement started today in recounting an exchange that ...
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On Russia’s Ongoing Violations in Ukraine | Statement to the PC

The situation continues to deteriorate in eastern Ukraine. In mid-November ceasefire violations reached their highest levels since the establishment of the Special Monitoring Mission in 2014. Furthermore, the SMM recorded last week the highest-ever number of violations from heavy weapons, including multiple launch rocket systems. Combined Russian-separatist forces continue to be responsible for the majority ...
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Russia’s Ongoing Violations in Ukraine | Statement to the PC

For the second week in a row, ceasefire violations in eastern Ukraine reached as many as three thousand incidents in a single day.That is on par with the high levels of violence in April and July. Combined Russian-separatist forces continue to be responsible for provoking the majority of attacks. In addition, the Special Monitoring Mission ...
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Replies to Russia on the OSCE Observer Mission at the Russian Border Checkpoints Gukovo and Donetsk | Statement to the PC

Thank you very much, Mr. Chair. I, too, was disappointed with the statement from the Russian delegation today. Colleagues, I think it’s important — I’d just like to remind of one quote from our Russian colleague today — that some of us around the table point to “an external boogie man who can be blamed ...
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Response to the Head of the OSCE Mission to Moldova

The United States warmly welcomes you, Ambassador Scanlan, to the Permanent Council. We thank you for another comprehensive report on the work of the OSCE Mission to Moldova, and on the resumption of talks in the framework of the 5+2 Settlement Process on the Transnistrian Conflict. Your straightforward assessment of the situation and insightful perspectives ...
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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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Russia’s Ongoing Violations in Ukraine | Statement to the PC

The United States remains deeply concerned by the fighting in eastern Ukraine. The ceasefire appears to be unraveling, and violence has reached peak levels not seen since August 2015. To safeguard civilian lives, all parties must act now to secure a real and comprehensive ceasefire and complete disengagement. Steps must be taken to improve the ...
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Reply to Russia on its Ongoing Violations in Ukraine | Statement to the PC

Thank you, Mr. Chair. I, too, wanted to respond to some of the comments made by our distinguished Russian colleague. First, to remind all colleagues around this table about SMM reporting, which we value highly and study closely. For many months now, SMM reporting — obviously, as folks know, the SMM can only report things ...
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On International Day to End Impunity for Crimes Against Journalists | Statement to the PC

My delegation strongly supports the statement of our European Union colleagues marking the United Nations-declared International Day to End Impunity for Crimes Against Journalists. To do its job, a free press needs protection from violence and intimidation. In too many places around the world, those who threaten, kidnap, beat, and kill journalists do so with ...
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Reply to Russia on International Day to End Impunity for Crimes Against Journalists | Statement to the PC

I’d like to reserve my right to reply more fully to the list of cases raised by our distinguished Russian colleague, but I would like to say today that my delegation is happy to follow-up on any cases that our distinguished Russian colleague or others want to raise in good faith with us. And we ...
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Replies to the Russian Federation, U.K. and CiO on Media Freedom in the U.K. | Statement to PC

Our distinguished Russian colleague had in his initial statement said that some of the – I think the term used was “Western partners” – had not expressed opinions about this case. That is true, that we haven’t expressed concern about this case. And I thank our British colleague for answering a number of the questions ...
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Reply to Russia on Ongoing Concerns About Russia’s ‘Foreign Agents’ Law | Statement to the PC

I thank the distinguished Russian colleague for his response, regardless of my wishing that he would commit to the reconsideration of a law that is inconsistent with international law and Russia’s commitments. The reference to U.S. law reminded me of one of the commitments that my delegation made at HDIM this year, which was that – because ...
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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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On the Geneva International Discussions on the Conflict in Georgia | Statement to the PC

Russia’s holding of elections to the Russian Duma in the Georgian regions of Abkhazia and South Ossetia is inconsistent with Georgia’s sovereignty and territorial integrity within its internationally recognized borders, and contrary to the commitments made by the Russian Federation in the August 12, 2008, six-point ceasefire agreement.
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Russia’s Ongoing Violations in Ukraine | Statement to the PC

The current effort toward disengagement provides a window of opportunity to put in place a lasting ceasefire in eastern Ukraine, as Ambassadors Sajdik and Apakan told the Permanent Council last week. While we recognize signs of progress on disengagement – such as the withdrawal of forces on both sides of the contact line at Petrivske ...
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Response to the Report by the Director of the OSCE Conflict Prevention Center | Statement to the PC

The United States welcomes Ambassador Peško back to the Permanent Council, and thanks him for his report. At the outset, let me commend the dedicated and talented staff members of the Conflict Prevention Center (CPC) and their work to support the OSCE’s response to our shared security challenges – in particular, Russian aggression against Ukraine. ...
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Russia’s Ongoing Violations in Ukraine | Statement to the PC

The United States welcomes Ambassadors Apakan and Sajdik back to the Permanent Council and thanks them for their efforts to peacefully resolve the conflict in eastern Ukraine. We must take this opportunity to build on the September 1 ceasefire re-commitment and the Framework Decision on Disengagement, effective September 21. From September 19 to 25, Ukraine ...
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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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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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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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Treaty on Conventional Armed Forces in Europe | Remarks at the Fifth Review Conference

I would like to express my great appreciation to the Chair, Norway, and the CFE Treaty Depositary, the Netherlands, for their organization of this conference. Five years ago at the 2011 CFE Review Conference, the United States reiterated its commitment to multilateral conventional arms control as a means to provide military transparency and increase security ...
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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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Freedom of Thought, Conscience, Religion or Belief | Statement at Working Session 12 of HDIM 2016

Freedom of religion or belief is a founding principle of the Helsinki Process. Unfortunately, a small number of participating States engage in consistent, systematic violations and abuses of the freedom of religion or belief.
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Tolerance and Non-Discrimination | Statement at Working Session 10 of HDIM 2016

Respect for the rights of persons belonging to national minorities is a cornerstone of the Helsinki Final Act. We underscore the importance of maintaining the independence of the High Commissioner on National Minorities and ODIHR.
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Trafficking in Human Beings | Statement at Working Session 7 of HDIM 2016

The United States offers its continued support in the effort to save lives and protect those who are particularly vulnerable to human trafficking, including migrants and refugees. Europol has reported that known smuggling and human trafficking gangs are working together to exploit migrant vulnerabilities. This is particularly concerning given the influx last year of 90,000 ...
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Freedom of Expression, Information, and Media Freedom | Statement at Working Session 6 of HDIM 2016

In establishing the Representative on Freedom of the Media in 1997, the OSCE participating States recognized that “free, independent, and pluralistic media are essential to a free and open society and accountable systems of government.”
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Freedom of Association and Peaceful Assembly | Statement at Working Session 5 of HDIM 2016

Freedom of association is necessary for the fullest exercise of the freedoms of expression and of religion or belief, and for the conduct of free and fair elections. It is a cornerstone for the rights of persons seeking to form independent trade unions.
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Freedom of Association and Peaceful Assembly | Right of Reply at Working Session 4 of HDIM 2016

We would like to exercise our right of reply in response to the Russian Federation. At the outset we would note that the Russian Federation failed to identify a single concrete action it is taking to promote either the civil, political or economic, social and cultural rights of its people. We explained why we have ...
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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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On the International Day for the Victims of Enforced Disappearances | Statement to the PC

On August 30, we marked the International Day for the Victims of Enforced Disappearances. The United States stands in solidarity with the men and women around the world whose own governments have abducted them and detained them in secret. In too many countries, repressive regimes confronted by citizens trying to hold their leaders accountable will ...
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Russia’s Ongoing Violations in Ukraine | Statement to the PC

As we mark two years after the September 5 Minsk Protocol of 2014, and soon the September 19, 2014 Minsk Memorandum, we must pause and reiterate the urgency of pursuing peace and the full implementation of those documents. The people of Ukraine deserve peace. The September 1 school-year ceasefire recommitment is an important opportunity to ...
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Ongoing Concerns About Freedom of Association in Russia | Statement to the PC

Colleagues, 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.” Mindful of ...
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Reply to Russia on Russia’s ongoing violations in Ukraine | Statement to the PC

I’d just like to take the opportunity to respond to a couple of the statements made by our distinguished Russian colleague. First, there is no parallel reality. Many of us – I didn’t have the pleasure of seeing our distinguished Russian colleague there last week in Potsdam – but many of us were present in ...
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