All Articles containing the tag: UKRAINIAN OSCE CHAIRMANSHIP

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Security and Human Rights Monitor


Ukrainian OSCE Chairmanship treading on thin ice
Photo: OSCE
4 December 2013 - 0

Ukrainian OSCE Chairmanship treading on thin ice

By violently dispersing peaceful protesters in Kiev on Saturday night, Ukraine is treading on very thin ice, particularly as the country is currently holding the OSCE Chairmanship and will host the OSCE Ministerial Council meeting in Kiev on 5 and 6 December. While peaceful protesters expressed their support for the EU Association Agreement and their opposition to the government over the weekend, police responded with violence, using stun grenades and batons. This violent attack by the police led to a considerable increase in protesters on Sunday, bringing back to mind images of the 2004 Orange Revolution. Although Ukrainian president Viktor Yanukovych condemned “the actions that led to forceful confrontation and suffering of people” in an address to the Ukrainian people on 30 November, the damage had been done. 

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The upcoming OSCE Ministerial Council meeting in Kiev: A chance to create a united security community?
Photo: OSCE/Jonathan Perfect
27 November 2013 - Stephanie Liechtenstein - 0

The upcoming OSCE Ministerial Council meeting in Kiev: A chance to create a united security community?

This year’s OSCE Ministerial Council (MC) meeting is scheduled to take place in Kiev, Ukraine, on 5 and 6 December. As with every year, there are a number of draft MC decisions in all three security dimensions on the table that are currently being negotiated in the respective committees in Vienna. And as with every year, many of them will be debated until the last minute, making it difficult to anticipate exact results at this stage. However, a number of cautious predictions can be made, although this year external political events might have an impact on the MC meeting as well. One key external event is the EU Eastern Partnership Summit which will be held in Vilnius, Lithuania, on 28 and 29 November, just one week prior to the OSCE MC meeting in Kiev.

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Free elections or free caviar?
Photo: OSCE/Thomas Rymer
15 November 2013 - 1

Free elections or free caviar?

Ilham Aliyev has dominated the ex-Soviet Republic of Azerbaijan for an entire decade. He won the Presidency in 2003 (when he succeeded his father) and again in 2008. It therefore came as no surprise when Aliyev of the New Azerbaijan Party again managed to gain 85 percent of the votes in the Presidential election on 9 October of this year. Azerbaijan is located strategically between Russia and Iran. It has rich oil and gas reserves in the Caspian Sea which it exports to Europe mainly through the Baku-Tbilisi-Ceyhan pipeline. The oil exports have led to an economic boom in the country, raising living standards and reducing poverty. However, visitors to the glowing capital of Baku should not let themselves be deceived by its futuristic architecture, grand boulevard and impressive seafront. Aliyev tolerates no dissent

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The Helsinki+40 Process: Determining the Future of the OSCE
Photo: OSCE/Dan Dennison
23 September 2013 - Stephanie Liechtenstein - 0

The Helsinki+40 Process: Determining the Future of the OSCE

Many times, reference has been made in this blog to the so-called Helsinki+40 process. What are the origins of this multilateral discussion process and what does it stand for? Has any progress been made so far and how likely are any concrete, landmark achievements by 2015? The Helsinki+40 process was decided upon at the 2012 Dublin OSCE Ministerial Council meeting “as an inclusive effort by all participating States to provide strong and continuous political impetus to advancing work towards a security community, and further strengthening co-operation in the OSCE on the way towards 2015, a year that marks four decades since the signing of the Helsinki Final Act.” In other words, the Ministerial decision on the Helsinki+40 process provided a roadmap for a multilateral discussion process on the future of the OSCE with the ultimate aim of setting up a “genuine security community.” (See previous blog on this topic).

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Tymoshenko case casts a shadow over Ukraine's OSCE Chairmanship
Photo: UKRINFORM
15 May 2013 - 0

Tymoshenko case casts a shadow over Ukraine's OSCE Chairmanship

Ukraine, the country currently holding the OSCE Chairmanship, has come under increasing pressure mainly by the European Union and the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) in Strasburg due to concerns over the independence of its judiciary and cases of selective justice. More specifically, the ECHR ruled on 30 April 2013 that the pre-trial detention of opposition leader Yulia Tymoshenko in 2011 had been “arbitrary; that the lawfulness of her detention had not been properly reviewed; and, that she had no possibility to seek compensation for her unlawful deprivation of liberty.”[1] The ECHR found that Tymoshenko’s pre-trial detention had been in breach of Article 5 (right to liberty and security) of the European Convention on Human Rights. The Court has yet to rule on the lawfulness of a seven-year sentence, pronounced in October 2011, which found Tymoshenko guilty of abuse of office while serving as prime minister in 2009, especially in relation to her role in a gas deal with Russia that allegedly cost Ukraine billions of dollars annually. Voices have become louder over the last years by the EU and other western states that Tymoshenko’s trial and sentence may have been politically motivated, helping Ukrainian president Yanukovich to remove a political rival.



[1] See press release (dated 30 April 2013) of the European Court of Human Rights, available at: http://hudoc.echr.coe.int/sites/fra-press/pages/search.aspx?i=003-4343134-5208270#{"itemid":["003-4343134-5208270"]}

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