OSCE PA President steps down, Vice-President to serve as President
Following last month’s legislative elections and the formation of a new Parliament in Vienna, Austrian parliamentarian Christine Muttonen stepped down today as OSCE Parliamentary Assembly President. As the most senior Vice-President of the Assembly, Georgian parliamentarian George Tsereteli took over as President, APA reports quoting official website of OSCE.
“Christine Muttonen has served the OSCE PA admirably for many years – as a member of the Austrian Delegation, as a Vice-President, as Special Representative for Central and Eastern Asia, and as Assembly President for the past 15 months – and we are all sad to see her go,” said President Tsereteli today. “I hope that I am able to continue leading the Assembly with as much ability, vision and energy as she brought to this position.”
In a letter to the OSCE PA’s Standing Committee on 20 Oct., Muttonen stressed the importance of a smooth presidential transition and wished Tsereteli success in his service of the Parliamentary Assembly. Reiterating the priorities of her presidency – including women’s empowerment in international politics, the security implications of climate change, the use of culture as a peace-building tool, and closer relations with OSCE Partners for Co-operation – she expressed hope that these themes will continue to provide focus for the PA’s work.
In meetings with Secretary General Roberto Montella and staff today at the OSCE PA International Secretariat in Copenhagen, Tsereteli also underlined the importance of a smooth transition. His priorities provide continuity, he said, to ensure a strong OSCE, uphold Helsinki principles, promote common values, and lend the PA’s contribution to resolving protracted conflicts.
Other topics of discussion included upcoming events such as next month’s OSCE Ministerial Council. Tsereteli stressed the importance of keeping a comprehensive approach in all dimensions of security, including the political-military, economic and environmental, and the human dimensions. Peace- and confidence-building initiatives are particularly important, he said, during these challenging times.
Following a career in business and health care, Tsereteli came to politics in 1995, serving as Vice-Mayor of Tbilisi before being elected to parliament in 1999, where he held several senior positions including Vice-President of the Georgian Parliament. He was Cabinet Minister and Deputy Prime Minister and has been a Vice-President of the OSCE Parliamentary Assembly since 2012. An experienced election observer, he has also served as Special Co-ordinator of the short-term OSCE observer mission in the United Kingdom’s general elections in 2015 and the German parliamentary elections in September 2017.
In accordance with Rule 5.8 of the OSCE PA’s Rules of Procedure, as the most senior Vice-President, Tsereteli will act as President until the Assembly elects a successor at next summer’s Annual Session in Berlin.
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