13:54 GMT +322 September 2019
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    Finnish President Sauli Niinisto speaks at the opening of the 24th Annual Session of the OSCE Parliamentary Assembly in Helsinki, Finland

    OSCE PA Closes 24th Session in Finland by Adopting Helsinki Declaration

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    The Parliamentary Assembly of the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE PA) closed the 24th Annual Session in Helsinki, Finland on Thursday with the adoption of a Final Helsinki Act Declaration.

    HELSINKI (Sputnik), Svetlana Alexandrova — This declaration contains comprehensive policy recommendations for the OSCE and its 57 participating states in the fields of political affairs and security, economy, the environment and human rights.

    The crisis in Ukraine, nonproliferation, the Mediterranean migrant crisis, global warming, water management, terrorism, anti-LGBT laws, and human rights violations in the OSCE area are among the topics addressed in the Declaration’s 141 clauses.

    More than 15 items have been added to the final document, including a controversial resolution that condemns Russia's alleged actions in Ukraine; a call for a comprehensive legislative reform to address foreign terrorist fighters; and an urgent appeal to stop migrant deaths in the Mediterranean.

    The OSCE PA adopted a special resolution commemorating the Helsinki Final Act’s anniversary. It contains concrete recommendations for reforming the OSCE to ensure its efficiency.

    "This has been a wonderful event for Helsinki and Finland to host the 40th anniversary," OSCE PA Secretary General Spencer Oliver said, stressing that this occasion gives the assembly "a chance to evaluate what is yet to be done, what flaws are need to be corrected."

    At the closing press conference, OSCE PA President Ilkka Kanerva said he regretted the exclusion of the Russian delegation from the summer meeting. He said he planned to ask the European Union to lift entry bans on Russians taking part in the organization’s parliamentary meetings and invited Russian parliamentarians to the autumn session in Ulan Bator, Mongolia.

    The statement came as the Russian delegation was unable to travel to Finland for the session after several of its members were denied visas by Finnish authorities.

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    resolution, OSCE, OSCE Parliamentary Assembly, Finland, Helsinki
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