Divided Europe Reunited - OSCE Parliamentary Assembly in Vilnius, June 29, - July 3, 2009
Archived Articles 03 Jul 2009  EWR
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1. Recalling the United Nations Universal Declaration of Human Rights, the Helsinki Final Act, and the European Charter of Fundamental Rights;

2. Taking into account the developments that have taken place in the OSCE territory in the past 20 years since the fall of the Berlin Wall and the Iron Curtain;

3. Noting that in the 20th century, European countries experienced two major totalitarian regimes, the Nazi and the Stalinist, which brought along genocide, violations of human rights and freedoms, war crimes and crimes against humanity;

4. Acknowledging the uniqueness of the Holocaust, reminding participating States of its impact and the continued acts of anti-Semitism occurring throughout the 56-nation OSCE region, and strongly encouraging to vigorously implement the resolutions on anti-Semitism adopted unanimously by the OSCE Parliamentary Assembly since the Annual Session in Berlin in 2002;

5. Reminding the OSCE participating States of their commitment “to clearly and unequivocally condemn totalitarianism” (1990 Copenhagen Document),

6. Recalling that awareness of history helps to prevent recurrence of similar crimes in the future, whereas honest and thorough debate on history will facilitate reconciliation based on truth and remembrance;

7. Aware that the transition from communist dictatorships to democracy cannot take place in one day, and that it also has to take into account the historical and cultural backgrounds of the countries concerned;

8. Emphasizing however that it is the obligation of governments and all sectors of society to strive tirelessly towards achieving a truly democratic system that fully respects human rights, without making differences in political culture and tradition a pretext for the non-implementation of commitments;

9. Deploring that in many countries, including some with long-standing democratic traditions, civil liberties are in renewed danger, often because of measures taken to counter so-called ‘new threats’;

10. Recalling the initiative of the European Parliament to proclaim 23 August, when the Ribbentrop –Molotov pact was signed 70 years ago, as a Europe-wide Day of Remembrance for Victims of Stalinism and Nazism, in order to preserve the memory of the victims of mass deportations and exterminations;

The OSCE Parliamentary Assembly,

11. Reconfirms its united stand against all totalitarian rule from whatever ideological background;

12. Calls on participating States to honour and implement all commitments undertaken in good faith;

13. Urges the participating States:

a. to continue research of the totalitarian legacy and raise public awareness, to develop and improve educational tools, programmes, and activities, most notably with young generations, on totalitarian history, human dignity, human rights and fundamental freedoms, pluralism, democracy and tolerance;

b. to promote and support activities of non-governmental organizations, that are engaged in the areas of research and raising of public awareness on crimes committed by totalitarian regimes;

14. Requests governments and parliaments of participating States to ensure that structures and patterns of behavior that embellish the past, attempt to return to it or try to extend them into the future, resisting full democratization, will be fully dismantled;

15. Further requests governments and parliaments of participating States to fully dismantle all structures and patterns of behavior that have their roots in abusing human rights;

16. Reiterates its call upon all participating States to open their historical and political archives;

17. Expresses deep concern regarding glorification of the totalitarian regimes, including holding of public demonstrations glorifying the Nazi or Stalinist past, as well as possible spread and strengthening of various extremist movements and groups, including neo-Nazis and skinheads;

18. Calls upon participating States to pursue policies against xenophobia and aggressive nationalism and take more effective measures to combat these phenomena;

19. Asks for a greater respect in all participating States for human rights and civil liberties, even in difficult times of terrorist threats, economic crisis, ecological disasters and mass migration.

Principal Sponsor
Mr Roberto Battelli
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