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Kiev congress OSCE adopts human rights resolutions

Foreign Minister Didier Burkhalter in Kiev

(Keystone)

The foreign ministers of the 57 states belonging to the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) adopted several resolutions at their meeting in Kiev on Friday, including two texts on human rights – the first in three years.

One resolution concerns freedom of expression and freedom of religion; another aims to improve living conditions for the Roma and Sinti people, with special emphasis on women, youth and children.

Also approved were measures relating to information technology, human trafficking, and protection of energy networks in the case of disasters.

Swiss Foreign Minister Didier Burkhalter – who is president-elect of both the OSCE and Switzerland – was pleased over the group’s progress. Only a day earlier he had lamented the growing gap between East and West in Europe and the tense climate in the Ukraine.

At Friday’s session, which he moderated, Burkhalter was asked what advice he would give the Ukrainian government for defusing tensions with demonstrators.

His answer: “Dialogue. Dialogue. Dialogue. Dialogue."

Looking ahead, Burkhalter declared he was confident that the OSCE can achieve "real and significant progress in the coming year."

This will require the member states to be willing to “cooperate in a spirit of dialogue and compromise,” he said.

swissinfo.ch and agencies

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