All Articles containing the tag: ODIHR

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Security and Human Rights Monitor


How to Train Human Rights Monitors in Ukraine: The ODIHR Way
Photo: ODIHR
21 April 2017 - Marc Van Gool* - 0

How to Train Human Rights Monitors in Ukraine: The ODIHR Way

In 2015 the OSCE Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights (ODIHR) started a multi-year programme to strengthen dialogue among civil society and with key government stakeholders in order to bolster security in Ukraine. The programme itself consists of numerous smaller projects, focusing on human rights, democratization, and tolerance and non-discrimination. This article by guest author Marc Van Gool explores the method that was used by ODIHR to build the capacity of civil society organizations in Ukraine to monitor human rights.

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Guest Blog Entry: OSCE Needs to ‘Catch Up’ on Rights
Photo: OSCE/Piotr Markowski
26 September 2016 - Hugh Williamson* - 0

Guest Blog Entry: OSCE Needs to ‘Catch Up’ on Rights

"The OSCE needs to catch up with the real world" was the blunt assessment of Kenneth Roth, Human Rights Watch's executive director, at the annual human rights conference this week in Warsaw of the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE). Action on human rights violations in the OSCE region – which includes Europe, the US and Canada, and countries of the former Soviet Union – is so urgent that the Vienna-based intergovernmental body should on certain issues modify its consensus-based decision-making process to overcome the veto powers of individual members, known as participating states, Roth said.

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Interview with Daniel Baer, US Ambassador to the OSCE
Photo: Colin Peters/USOSCE
16 September 2016 - 0

Interview with Daniel Baer, US Ambassador to the OSCE

On 7 September Stephanie Liechtenstein met with Daniel Baer, the US Ambassador to the OSCE, for an interview in Vienna. Ambassador Baer is a strong supporter of Ukraine's sovereignty and territorial integrity and a staunch defender of fundamental human rights across the OSCE region. In this interview, Ambassador Baer talks about the situation in Ukraine and stresses that the full implementation of the Minsk Agreements is the best framework for a permanent, political solution to the conflict. He underlines the need for the international community to continue to press for complete, free and unfettered access for OSCE monitors to all areas in eastern Ukraine. He stresses that the most important aspect is for Russia to give a signal to its proxies on the ground in Ukraine that it does not want the OSCE monitors to be obstructed, harassed or shot at. Ambassador Baer describes the situation in parts of eastern Ukraine as a "dystopia that is run by armed thugs with machine guns patrolling the streets." He believes that the security environment will have to change significantly before free and fair local elections can be run in eastern Ukraine. He does not exclude that at that point an armed presence may be needed to help ensure a safe environment for the elections. Apart from the situation in Ukraine, Ambassador Baer provides his views on the OSCE role in managing the migration and refugee flows, on the upcoming Human Dimension Implementation Meeting in Warsaw as well as on the upcoming Presidential Elections in the United States.

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Strong Plea to Implement OSCE Commitments on Freedoms of Assembly and Association
Photo: OSCE
28 April 2015 - 0

Strong Plea to Implement OSCE Commitments on Freedoms of Assembly and Association

The Supplementary Human Dimension Meeting (SHDM) on Freedoms of Peaceful Assembly and Association, with Emphasis on Freedom of Association took place in Vienna on 16 and 17 April. It was organized by the Serbian OSCE Chairmanship and the OSCE Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights (ODIHR). The meeting was part of a series of OSCE human dimension meetings that take place every year throughout the OSCE region and that culminate in the annual Human Dimension Implementation Meeting, Europe's largest human rights conference, taking place in Warsaw in autumn. The SHDMs provide an opportunity for representatives of Non-Governmental Organizations (NGOs) to participate on an equal footing with government representatives.

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Early presidential elections in Ukraine: A chance for unity?
Photo: OSCE/Adam Adamus
6 June 2014 - Stephanie Liechtenstein - 0

Early presidential elections in Ukraine: A chance for unity?

Early presidential elections were held in Ukraine on 25 May despite the challenging political and security situation in the country. The presidential elections were called after former President Victor Yanukovych was deposed in February amid mass protests on Maidan square in Kiev and other parts of the country. According to the Central Election Commission (CEC) of Ukraine, Petro Poroshenko, who is not directly linked to any party and who supported the pro-European Maidan protests from the beginning, won 54.7% of the votes. Yulia Timoshenko of the Fatherland party received 12.81% of the votes and Mykhailo Dobkin, the candidate of the Party of Regions with which former President Yanukovych was associated, got just over 3% of the votes. The Ukrainian CEC announced a high voter turnout of over 60%. These results indicate that Ukraine overwhelmingly voted for a pro-European president.

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In the right place at the right time: Use the OSCE to defuse the crisis in Ukraine
Photo: OSCE/Jonathan Perfect
5 March 2014 - Stephanie Liechtenstein - 0

In the right place at the right time: Use the OSCE to defuse the crisis in Ukraine

The corridors of the Hofburg were unusually crowded with diplomats and filled with journalists when the Swiss OSCE Chairmanship convened a special meeting of the OSCE Permanent Council (PC) on 3 March in Vienna. When it became known during the weekend that US President Barack Obama and German Chancellor Angela Merkel had suggested to Russian President Vladimir Putin to bring in the OSCE to help ease growing tensions in Ukraine and especially the Crimean peninsula, all previous efforts by the Swiss OSCE Chairmanship to promote the OSCE's role in the Ukrainian crisis seemed to have paid off. In my previous blog entry of 15 February I made a strong case for the OSCE helping settle the crisis in Ukraine not only because the Organization has the expertise and ideal tools available to do so but also because the current Swiss OSCE Chairmanship is in an ideal position to lead such efforts. It seems several leaders are starting to share this view.

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