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Security And Co-Operation In Europe

Volume 176: debated on Wednesday 11 July 1990

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To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs whether sufficient progress is being made in the two-plus-four talks and in CFE negotiations to enable a conference on security and co-operation in Europe to take place in the current year.

We and our NATO partners continue to regard it as important that the CFE negotiations should reach a satisfactory conclusion in order to lay the necessary basis for a CSCE summit to take place this year. It is also our aim to complete the two-plus-four talks by then. Progress is being made in both sets of talks. We were encouraged to note that the Warsaw pact summit declaration on 7 June committed Warsaw pact members to a successful termination of the CFE talks in time for the treaty to be signed at a CSCE summit late in 1990.


To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs whether Her Majesty's Government have put forward any proposals to enhance the role of the CSCE in European affairs and in relation to the security of European states; and if he will make a statement.

The NATO summit meeting on 5 and 6 July agreed that the CSCE should become more prominent in Europe's future, and that a CSCE summit later this year should set new standards for the establishment and preservation of free societies. The NATO summit also made specific proposals on the institutionalisation of the CSCE, including in the security field establishing a CSCE centre for the prevention of conflict that would provide conciliation of disputes involving member states, together with measures to increase transparency and confidence-building. The United Kingdom played a leading role in the formulation of these proposals, in particular in relation to the proposed centre for the prevention of conflict. The full text is contained in the NATO summit declaration, a copy of which has been placed in the Library of the House.

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what discussions took place at the recent CSCE conference on the human dimension in Copenhagen about the conditions under which the next conference is to take place in Moscow in September 1991; and if he will make a statement.

The annex to the concluding document of the Copenhagen CDH meeting reiterates the practices of openness and access which should be respected at forthcoming conferences on the human dimension. We have made clear to the Soviet Union on a number of occasions the human rights conditions which we consider must be fulfilled if the United Kingdom is to attend the Moscow meeting. We continue to monitor the situation.


To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what is his policy on the Council of Europe providing the framework for the structured consideration of CSCE matters.

The United Kingdom and other CSCE member states recognise the important expertise of the Council of Europe in the field of human rights and fundamental freedoms and will be considering further ways and means to enable the Council to make a contribution to the human dimension of the CSCE.