Below is the prepared text for an intervention read yesterday afternoon by Christopher Hull of the Center for Security Policy (Secure Freedom) at OSCE Warsaw. The video of the intervention will be along in due course.
For more on the OSCE’s Code of Conduct, see “The Successful Subversion of the OSCE”.
Intervention before the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE)
Participating States and Office of Democratic Institutions and Human Rights (ODIHR)
At the Human Dimension Implementation Meeting (HDIM), Warsaw, Poland
Working Session 11: Fundamental Freedoms II
September 17, 2018
How ironic that this organization is itself violating fundamental freedoms.
For instance, at a February meeting this year, a senior official claimed that civil society must adhere to OSCE commitments.
But we are not required to abide by those commitments — you are.
The OSCE Code of Conduct for Staff/Mission Members says you, and I quote, “shall comply with the… commitments of the OSCE.” And what commitments?
|1.||First, “respecting human rights and fundamental freedoms, including the freedom of thought, conscience…or belief, for all without distinction as to…belief, political or other opinion.”|
|2.||Second, taking only “measures which do not endanger freedom of information and expression” in this space; and|
|3.||Third, that civil society members, “specifically those with relevant experience, are particularly encouraged to participate in the discussion of the selected topics and to provide their suggestions and recommendations.”
But in spite of such requirements, ODIHR has now gone further.
For this meeting, you required us to acknowledge a new “Code of Conduct.” It says, “[p]articipants shall refrain from presenting…any slogans that might be provoking,… likely to give rise to violence, [or] discriminating [against] other persons on the basis of…religion or belief, political or other opinion.”
But that is what you are doing.
That’s why Secure Freedom joined 28 civil society representatives from 14 countries in speaking out against your repeated attempts to shut down our fundamental freedoms.
That’s also why the U.S. Opening Statement objected “to content-based restrictions on the participation of civil society.”
And yet last week, ODIHR used its power to interrupt Civitas Christiana Foundation for expressing concern about threats, repression and intolerance by those who hold radical views of sexuality.
The truth? OSCE’s own Code of Conduct says:
|1.||“officials shall ensure that their own personal views and convictions, including their political and religious convictions do not adversely affect their official duties,” and|
|2.||“officials shall respect the laws and regulations of the host country, as well as its local customs and traditions,” in this case those of Poland, whose laws, regulations, customs and traditions you’re violating.
In fact, ODIHR is also refusing to respect the current governments of America, the V-4, Austria, and Italy, all of which are making hard choices on migration and terror to keep their people safer and their Fundamental Freedoms intact.
Without consensus of these countries, the policy should never have taken effect and should not be permitted going forward, as it violates civil society participants’ Fundamental Freedoms.
Secure Freedom recommends:
|2.||That America, Hungary, Slovakia, Czechia, Poland, Austria, and Italy speak out in favor of free speech and their own policies on terror and migration.
|1.||According to meeting participants.|
|2.||”OSCE CODE OF CONDUCT FOR STAFF/MISSION MEMBERS: Appendix 1 to the OSCE Staff Regulations and Staff Rules,” Permanent Council Decision 550/Corr.1, 27 June 2003, available at https://www.osce.org/secretariat/31781?download=true, retrieved August 30, 2018.|
|3.||See “13th OSCE Ministerial Council Ljubljana, 5 December 2005 (All day) — 6 December 2005 (All day),” available at https://www.osce.org/event/mc_2005, retrieved August 28, 2018.|
|4.||See “13th OSCE Ministerial Council Ljubljana, 5 December 2005 (All day) — 6 December 2005 (All day),” available at https://www.osce.org/event/mc_2005, retrieved August 28, 2018.|
|5.||Modalities for OSCE Meetings on Human Dimension Issues, 23 May 2002 (OSCE PC Dec.476, Section I paragraph 9), available at https://www.osce.org/pc/13198?download=true, retrieved August 28, 2018.|
|6.||See Center for Security Policy, “LETTER RELEASE: Organizations express concerns about OSCE’s attempts to shut down free speech,” September 6, 2018, available at https://www.centerforsecuritypolicy.org/2018/09/06/letter-release-organizations-express-concerns-about-osces-attempts-to-shut-down-free-speech/, retrieved on September 16, 2018.|
|7.||See United States Mission to the OSCE, “Opening Statement As prepared for delivery by Ambassador Michael Kozak, Head of Delegation to the 2018 Human Dimension Implementation Meeting, Warsaw,” September 10, 2018, https://www.osce.org/odihr/393305?download=true, retrieved September 16, 2018.|
|8.||See “A couple of noteworthy OSCE interventions,” September 14, 2018, available at https://youtu.be/vW8g_Dmjd1U, retrieved September 17, 2018.|
|9.||”OSCE CODE OF CONDUCT FOR STAFF/MISSION MEMBERS: Appendix 1 to the OSCE Staff Regulations and Staff Rules,” Permanent Council Decision 550/Corr.1, 27 June 2003, available at https://www.osce.org/secretariat/31781?download=true, retrieved August 30, 2018.|
|10.||See “CODE OF CONDUCT AT THE OSCE HUMAN DIMENSION IMPLEMENTATION MEETING (HDIM),” Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe, Office of Democratic Institutions and Human Rights, https://meetings.odihr.pl/dl/2943/f85414/CODE_of_CONDUCT_HDIM-1.docx, retrieved August 30, 2018.
For links to previous articles about the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe, see the OSCE Archives.