Skip to main content

Organisation for Security and Co-operation in Europe

Volume 514: debated on Wednesday 21 July 2010

On 16 to 17 July 2010 I attended an informal meeting of OSCE Foreign Ministers in Almaty, Kazakhstan. The overriding aim of the Kazakh OSCE chairmanship-in-office was to secure political endorsement of their proposal for an OSCE summit. During my interventions at both the dinner on 16 July and the two plenary sessions on 17 July I stressed the need for a substantive agenda, if there was to be a summit, and for the OSCE to demonstrate the capacity to act across four specific areas of OSCE activity: conflict prevention and resolution; arms control; human rights and democracy; and transnational threats, including those linked to Afghanistan. On the afternoon of 17 July Ministers reached consensus on a summit taking place in Astana, Kazakhstan by the end of 2010.

During my time in Kazakhstan I was able to have bilateral meetings with 14 Foreign Ministers and other Heads of Delegation1, the director of the OSCE Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights, and the OSCE Representative on Freedom of the Media. In my meeting with the Foreign Minister of Kyrgyzstan I underlined the need for the Kyrgyz authorities to take forward the difficult process of reconciliation and reconstruction, particularly in terms of organising a credible investigation into the tragic events in April and June. I also noted that DFID would represent the British Government at the 27 July donor conference in Bishkek.

The ongoing crisis in Kyrgyzstan was taken up by a number of delegations during the plenary session, including the Foreign Ministers of France and Germany, who arrived in Kazakhstan direct from a joint visit to Kyrgyzstan. They tabled a paper on the role the OSCE could play across the board in Kyrgyzstan and the need to despatch a Police Advisory Group (PAG). I am placing a copy of this paper in the Library of the House. I and many other delegations welcomed the proposals. The Kyrgyz Government and the OSCE reached agreement on the arrangements for the PAG subject to agreement by the OSCE Permanent Council on 22 July.

1Armenia, Azerbaijan, Georgia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Lithuania, Moldova, Montenegro, Russia, Serbia, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, US, Uzbekistan.