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IOI Secretary General attends OSCE Parallel Civil Society Conference 2017

December 6, 2017

Austrian Ombudsman and IOI Secretary General Günther Kräuter attended the OSCE Parallel Civil Society Conference 2017 in Vienna on 5 December, in order to discuss the results of the OSCE self-evaluation process.

Since 1 January 2017, Austria holds the chairmanship of the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE). The OSCE is the world’s largest security-oriented intergovernmental organization with 57 member states located in Europe, Asia and Northern America. It has now become a tradition for civil society representatives from throughout the OSCE region to convene before the annual OSCE Ministerial Council at the Parallel Civil Society Conference. During this event the civil society discusses urgent human rights matters and their impact in the region.

Following the example of the previous presidencies, Austria has conducted a self-evaluation on the implementation of selected OSCE commitments in the areas of human rights and democracy. The European Training and Research Centre for Human Rights and Democracy (ETC) Graz conducted the evaluation as an independent institution.

Austrian Ombudsman Kräuter discussed the results of the Self-Evaluation Report and the follow-up with representatives of the civil society. He also proposed an increased involvement of the OSCE’s Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights (ODIHR) in the process in the coming years. ODIHR could provide the states with additional resources and knowledge to further improve the self-evaluation process and to ensure consistency. In his function as IOI Secretary General, Mr. Kräuter signed a Memorandum of Understanding with ODIHR in September 2017 and expressed his intention to further deepen the relationship with ODIHR, in order to support the NHRIs in the OSCE region.