OSCE Parallel Conference 2018 highlights

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Representatives of the leading civil society organizations gathered at the Parallel Civil Society Conference (PC) in Milano on 5 December. Here are the highlights of the event: The opening session of the OSCE PC this year started with a moment of silence for our colleague Vitali Safarov, who was tragically murdered by neo-Nazi group members in his home town Tbilisi.We miss you Vitali!

During the sessions speakers reflected on what has been done during the Italian Chairmanship, raised their concerns and discussed priorities for the upcoming Slovakian Chairmanship. Rising security concerns in the OSCE Region, shrinking space for the civil society - both nationally and internationally, rise of authoritarian regimes and threats to democratic institutions, rule of law and freedom of media, as well as gender equality, and migration were among the major topics that were discussed by the CSO representatives.  

One more important aspect discussed during the event was a necessity of reframing narratives and using innovative communication tools to deliver human rights messages. 

This short video provides short overview of the conference: https://youtu.be/cZ_AWSc36rU: The PC also included a solidarity action for political prisoners, which included such actions as:

  • Update on the situation with political prisoners and the necessity of global diversified multilevel actions aimed at their release, which was accompanied by the video-presentation of some of the prominent political prisoners
  • Signing post cards to political prisoners by the conference participants,
  • Joint photo-sessions: global one, devoted to all political prisoners around the OSCE region, and one, related to the case of Azimjon Askarov.

Following the established tradition, the closing session ended with symbolic hand-over of the Civil Society Recommendations 2018 and the “Milano Declaration” to the distinguished panelists and remarks by the representatives of the OSCE participating states and the OSCE officials.

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