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Conference On Security And Co-Operation In Europe

Volume 175: debated on Thursday 5 July 1990

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To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs if he will make a statement on the outcome of the CSCE conference on the human dimension at Copenhagen; and what has been the reaction of Her Majesty's Government towards the San Marino proposals for the Council of Europe to become the parliamentary dimension of the CSCE process.

We welcome the successful conclusion of the second meeting of the conference on the human dimension, held in Copenhagen from 5 to 29 June. The meeting agreed a concluding document which represents a historic advance in CSCE participants' human rights commitments. It enshrines specifically proposals which the United Kingdom, together with other western countries, put forward, laying down the conditions which should be fulfilled for elections to be considered free and fair, and enumerating the principles for a sound legal system. The document also extends existing CSCE undertakings on freedom of expression, of association and peaceful assembly, and of movement, and reaffirms the participating states' respect for the rights of minorities. The explicit and universal adherence to these principles which the Copenhagen concluding document represents will be of great benefit in sustaining the process of democratic reform in eastern Europe. Copies of the concluding document are being placed in the Library of the House.The Copenhagen meeting also discussed participating states' implementation of their CSCE human rights commitments and reviewed the mechanism established at the 1989 Vienna CSCE follow-up meeting allowing participating states to monitor each others' human rights performance.The United Kingdom and other CSCE member states will be considering the ways and means in which the Council of Europe can contribute to the human dimension of the CSCE process.