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VIENNA, February 23 (Itar-Tass) —— The OSCE Parliamentary Assembly will gather for its winter session on Thursday to discuss a wide range of issues, pertaining to the main areas of OSCE activities. A special discussion on the second day of the session will be devoted to the future of the system of conventional arms control in pan-European space.
Participating in the forum will be about 250 legislators from more than 50 countries, including a delegation from the Russian parliament, which this time will consist of five members of the Federation Council, because, the State Duma has not firmed its PACE team yet.
“In the course of the forthcoming session we shall take an active part in discussions over last December’s elections to the State Duma and the forthcoming March 4 election of the Russian president,” the chief Russian delegate, Colonel-General Vladimir Kulakov, told Itar-Tass. “Also, we are going to raise the status of the Russian language in Latvia and the referendum there, in which more than 320,000 disfranchised Russian-speaking residents of that country were unable to participate. Our experts will take part in the discussion on conventional arms control.”
The main debates will unfold within the three general committees – on political issues and security, on economic affairs, science, technology and the environment, and also on democracy, human rights and humanitarian issues. The first committee will be discussing terrorism and organized crime, the second committee, the effects of the current economic and financial crisis in Europe, and the third committee will pay attention to the judicial systems and prison reform in the OSCE space.
Discussions on humanitarian problems are going to be particularly tough.
The winter sessions of the OSCE Parliamentary Assembly make no decisions. This is the prerogative of annual sessions held in the summer.
The forthcoming 21st annual session of the OSCE Parliamentary Assembly will be held in Monaco in July.