Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE)
Comment by the Information and Press Department on the completion of the OSCE 21st Human Dimension Implementation Meeting, Warsaw, September 11-22, 2017
On September 22, the annual OSCE Human Dimension Implementation Meeting rounded up in Warsaw.
The meeting was attended by an inter-agency delegation from Russia that included representatives of the Foreign Ministry, the Ministry of Education and Science, the Ministry of Communications and Mass Media, the Prosecutor General’s Office, the Central Election Commission, the Federal Penitentiary Service and the Federal Agency for Nationality Affairs.
The meeting participants exchanged views on an extensive agenda devoted exclusively to human rights, including such issues as rule of law, human trafficking, freedom of expression, freedom of assembly and association, protection of the rights of ethnic minorities, fighting intolerance and discrimination, observing economic, social and cultural rights, equal participation in political and public life, opposition to the growth of nationalism and neo-Nazism, the status of refugees and migrants, protection of children’s rights and equality of men and women.
We note with regret the highly politicised nature of discussions persisting at this forum, something that has been characteristic of the entire OSCE humanitarian dimension in recent years.
Representatives of the United States, Canada, the EU and some of its members, as well as Ukraine, set this confrontational tone. They regularly come up with anti-Russian rhetoric and openly distort facts concerning the actual state of affairs in the Russian Federation, including the Republic of Crimea. At the same time, they ignore the massive human rights violations in Ukraine, including the suppression of dissent and encroachments on the rights of Russian speakers, to say nothing about a bloody war they have unleashed against the residents of Donbass.
The Russian delegation called on participating states to avoid politicising such an important forum as the Warsaw Implementation Meeting and focus on the discussion of specific problems in the OSCE region. In particular, some of the very pressing issues are ones related to the growth of nationalist and right-wing radical sentiments in a number of states, violations of the rule of law principle, intolerance towards Christians and Muslims, large-scale statelessness, human trafficking and abuse of ethnic minority rights, glorification of Nazism and the failure to protect children’s rights, along with many other issues.
We are confident that the Implementation Meeting in Warsaw can become a unique platform for a constructive and useful dialogue on an entire scope of human rights issues. This requires that the parties give up wholesale accusations and politicisation and go over to developing specific measures to counter threats and challenges in the humanitarian area.
Russia’s stance on all the above matters was successfully conveyed to the meeting participants thanks to the significant contribution of representatives from Russia’s ministries and agencies. We also note that a considerable number of members of Russia’s and foreign civil society presented similar positions.