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Sustainable development in focus at Switzerland conference, featuring high-level OSCE PA participation

OSCE Parliamentary Assembly President George Tsereteli participated in the third international parliamentary conference of the OSCE PA Silk Road Support Group, held in Andermatt, Switzerland, on 5-7 September.

The meeting was hosted by the Swiss Delegation to the OSCE PA, headed by Margareta Kiener Nellen, and featured opening speeches by Tsereteli and OSCE PA Vice-President Azay Guliyev (MP, Azerbaijan), who serves as Chair of the Silk Road Support Group. It was held under the theme “The Belt and Road Initiative as a Driver for the Sustainable Development Goals.”

Recalling the Declaration that the OSCE PA adopted at its Annual Session in Luxembourg two months ago, President Tsereteli stressed that parliaments can help advance sustainable development and security by adopting relevant legislation, providing oversight, ratifying treaties, approving budgets and setting agendas that prioritize the need to comply with international commitments.

“Today, we are invited to determine how greater economic convergence between our countries, through vast infrastructure projects such as the New Silk Road, can further contribute to the realization of the Sustainable Development Goals,” he said. “Through our defense of freedom, democracy, strong principles, shared commitments and common goals, the OSCE already makes strong contributions towards the fulfilment of the SDGs.”

In Guliyev’s opening remarks, he drew his colleagues’ attention to the work being done together and emphasized further encouragement of public-private sector dialogue, parliamentary oversight and the promotion of ideas and values of the OSCE PA Silk Road Support Group in its future activities.

“Today’s International Conference in Andermatt is a great opportunity both for review and follow-up of the already expressed proposals and discussions, but it is also a perfect time to make important decisions on our further activities,” Vice-President Guliyev said. “We can discuss what we can do to help our countries to implement the Sustainable Development Goals, as well as what joint activities are needed in this regard.”

The conference featured the participation of Swiss parliamentarian Filippo Lombardi, Chair of the OSCE PA’s Committee on Political Affairs and Security; Ignazio Cassis, Federal Councilor of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Switzerland; Remigi Winzap from the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development; and Stefana Miladinovic, Vice Chair of the Silk Road Support Group and Head of the Serbian Delegation to the OSCE PA, among others.

Working sessions focused on issues such as infrastructure development, sustainable financing and risk mitigation, good governance and the fight against corruption, and environmental sustainability.

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