Berlin Declaration

The Berlin Declaration has been adopted at the German Bundestag.Nearly 300 parliamentarians from 53 OSCE participating States and four Partners for Co-operation participated in the 27th Annual Session, which took place 7-11 July 2018, at the Reichstag building in Berlin under the theme “Implementing OSCE Commitments: The Role of Parliaments.”

The Declaration, adopted following an amendment process carried out over several days of committee meetings, calls essential the “commitment to the fundamental principles of international law, human rights and the rule of law enshrined in the UN Charter and the Helsinki Final Act.”

In the Declaration, OSCE parliamentarians called for greater commitment from governments to the OSCE’s principles, including through the strengthening of arms control regimes, security sector reform, the development of confidence- and security-building measures, and the good-faith implementation of agreements.

The Declaration further calls on governments to ensure that human rights are respected by all security and intelligence services, both public and private, and urges parliaments to establish bodies for scrutinizing these services’ activities. Parliaments should also support the OSCE’s “structured dialogue” process, the Declaration says.

In the economic and environmental dimension, the Declaration stresses the unique role of parliaments in promoting reforms to implement OSCE commitments, in particular by fighting corruption, increasing transparency and cracking down on organized crime, money laundering and the financing of terrorism.

All OSCE countries should “protect the rights of migrants and refugees, especially their freedom from arbitrary detention, and to actively work on the integration of refugees and protect their right to family reunification, with particular consideration for unaccompanied minors.” The Declaration also recalls the commitment of non-refoulement as a principle of customary international law, emphasizing that refugees and asylum seekers must not be forcibly returned to countries where the could face torture or inhumane treatment.

Here you can download the Declaration:

References from the official website Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe