In visit to UN, President Muttonen emphasizes importance of international co-operation

NEW YORK, 14 November 2016 – In a visit to United Nations headquarters in New York on Thursday and Friday, OSCE Parliamentary Assembly President Christine Muttonen (MP, Austria) highlighted the Assembly’s activities in a range of areas, including election observation, migration, gender, parliamentary diplomacy, mediation, and conflict prevention and resolution.


Meeting with UN Under-Secretary-General for Political Affairs Jeffrey Feltman, President Muttonen described the OSCE’s role in observing last week’s US general elections, in which she led some 300 short-term OSCE observers. President Muttonen and Under-Secretary-General Feltman also exchanged views on the crisis in and around Ukraine as well as recent developments in Central Asia, Eastern Europe and Turkey.


Muttonen and Feltman also considered regional developments of shared relevance to the OSCE and the UN and explored avenues for enhanced co-operation including through the recently established post of UN Liaison for the OSCE in Vienna.


“The OSCE and the UN share a common purpose: the advancement of peace, security and development on our planet. While we may vary in terms of size, resources and regional focuses, there are many issues where our work intersects, and it is in all of our interests to make sure that we work together effectively to complement each other’s efforts,” Muttonen said.


The PA President also met with Under-Secretary-General and Executive Director of UN Women Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka, and a number of representatives of UN Member States, discussing a range of issues and possible avenues for collaboration.


President Muttonen noted in particular the PA’s main priorities for 2016-2017 and discussed ways for the Assembly to play a greater role in promoting the UN’s 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. She emphasized the importance of promoting a political solution to the crisis in and around Ukraine and noted that Turkey is also emerging as a priority for the PA. She stressed that the Assembly has established open and frank communication with Ankara since a high-level visit in August following last summer’s attempted coup.


Her recent appointment of Ilkka Kanerva (MP, Finland) as OSCE PA Special Representative on Mediation has considerably strengthened PA’s toolbox on mediation and dialogue facilitation, she said.


In her meeting with Under-Secretary-General Mlambo-Ngcuka, Muttonen described the OSCE’s efforts on gender mainstreaming, pointing in particular to the work of the PA’s Special Representative on Gender Issues Hedy Fry (MP, Canada). The President extended an invitation to Under-Secretary-General Mlambo-Ngcuka to attend an OSCE PA event on women and security to be hosted by the Austrian Parliament in spring 2017.