CoE, NATO, OSCE: Crucial role of parliaments in upcoming months

NEWS 16.04.2020 20:52
Source: N1

International cooperation is key to addressing the current crisis caused by Covid-19 pandemic and no country alone can cope with the magnitude of the crisis or its consequences, chiefs of the parliamentary assemblies of Council of Europe, NATO and Organisation for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) said in a joint statement on Thursday.

They thanked all those “on the frontline of the Covid-19 response” keeping everyone safe and all those ensuring the good functioning of societies and economies.

The note signed by Rik Deams, PACE President, Attila Mesterhazy, NATO PA President, and George Tsereteli, OSCE PA President, stressed that the international cooperation was key to addressing the crisis and they welcomed all forms of assistance and solidarity between the nations which have helped save lives.

“More efforts are however needed because no state alone can cope with the magnitude of the crisis and its consequences. Everyone is affected, but there are some persons more vulnerable than others, including those affected by conflict or living in refugee camps, who have to be given safe access to medical care,” said the officials, stressing that the rapid and safe developments of treatments and a vaccine are essential to bring the pandemic to an end, which can be done in a close cooperation of all stakeholders including scientific community and pharmaceutical industries.

“In the coming months, our parliaments will have a key role to play to ensure that emergency measures are implemented properly and in accordance with democratic standards, that restrictions on freedoms are proportionate and temporary, that economic relief funds are disbursed where they are needed, and that security and stability are upheld.

Our organizations stand ready to support national parliaments in these efforts. Through parliamentary diplomacy, we can encourage further assistance and coordination between our countries. By providing platforms for legislators to share experience and best practices, we can help parliaments learn the lessons from this crisis and enhance preparedness, resilience and response for the future. By ensuring access by parliamentarians and the wider public to accurate and trustworthy information, we can help combat misinformation,” said the joint statement.

CoE, NATO and OSCE together span 57 countries across North America, Europe and Central Asia, with a population of over one billion.