COPENHAGEN, 4 May 2017 – OSCE Parliamentary Assembly President Christine Muttonen (MP, Austria) and Special Representative on the South Caucasus Kristian Vigenin (MP, Bulgaria) expressed regret about today’s announcement that it has not been possible to reach agreement to extend the mandate of the OSCE’s Office in Yerevan. The Office is expected to close in the coming months.
“I regret the fact that despite lengthy and extensive efforts, the Permanent Council has been unable to reach consensus on the continuation of the OSCE Office in Yerevan’s important work,” President Muttonen said. “The OSCE Parliamentary Assembly has repeatedly called for OSCE field operations to be given robust mandates and all the resources they need to allow them to perform their vital tasks, and yet, regrettably, another field operation is being closed.”
Vigenin noted how important the Office in Yerevan’s work is for Armenia and the OSCE, and stressed that the OSCE PA will remain actively engaged in the region.
“Following the closure of OSCE field operations in Georgia and Azerbaijan in past years, the Office in Yerevan has both a symbolic and practical importance that should not be overlooked. Personally, I have benefited from the Office’s expertise when carrying out diplomatic visits, and hope that the interim period before the final closure of the mission can be used to find a compromise solution so that the country can continue benefiting from its support,” Vigenin said.
In its Baku Declaration of 2014 the OSCE Parliamentary Assembly called for the OSCE to “adopt full, effective, and long-term mandates for OSCE field operations,” reiterating similar previous appeals.