The Parliamentary Assembly consists of approximately 320 parliamentarians from the 56 member states. The Assembly convenes twice a year, in July and February. The Assembly works through three general committees discussing political affairs and security issues, economic affairs, science, technology and environment, and finally democracy, human rights and humanitarian questions. At the end of the summer session, a common declaration based on current issues containing elements of the work of the three committees is adopted.
The International Department is responsible for secretariat duties for the Storting’s Delegation to the OSCE Parliamentary Assembly.
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OSCE PA website.
The Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) was established in 1975 at the signing of the Helsinki Final Act. The main purpose of the OSCE is to define common standards for inter-state relations and common standards for relations between states and citizens. Additionally, the OSCE is involved in integrating new democracies sharing these values into the community and in activities related to crisis management and conflict prevention. These last-mentioned activities have increasingly become the primary area of OSCE action.
The OSCE Parliamentary Assembly was established in 1991 in an attempt to strengthen the influence of parliaments on the OSCE co-operation. The tasks of the Assembly are to evaluate the implementation of the overall objectives of the OSCE; to address current matters on behalf of the OSCE; to submit recommendations to the governmental section of the OSCE; to develop and promote mechanisms for the prevention of conflicts; to support the consolidation of democratic institutions in OSCE participating states and finally, to contribute to the development of as well OSCE institutional structures and relations as co-operation between existing OSCE institutions.
In addition, the OSCE Parliamentary Assembly has set up a number of ad hoc committees to address specific issues requiring particular parliamentary attention, like Belarus, and Moldova, as well as the need for greater transparency and accountability in the OSCE. The Assembly also plays a key part in the monitoring of elections, especially parliamentary elections in the OSCE area.