FIDH calls upon the Ministerial Council to adopt the draft Decision on Human Rights Defenders and National Human Rights Institutions so that the Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights (ODIHR) be given the ability to develop protection activities towards human rights defenders. Furthermore, the Ministerial Council should reaffirm the principle of strong OSCE election observation missions and consider ways to increase their efficiency and visibility. FIDH requests the adoption by the Ministerial Council of a decision allowing unhindered access of lawyers, medical personnel, national and OSCE observers to detention centres. Finally, the OSCE Ministers of Foreign Affairs should undertake an annual review of cases of serious non-compliance with OSCE commitments at Ministerial Councils and define plans of actions to be followed-up at Permanent Council sessions.
FIDH considers that the 2007 Ministerial Council offers an excellent opportunity to assess the work done regarding the Human Dimension, as well as to address the remaining challenges such as recent attempts by some OSCE participating States to restrict NGO participation and weaken election observation missions as well as to interfere with the mandate and the work of the ODIHR.
«A strong Human Dimension is a prerequisite for a strong OSCE. We call upon the Organisation to strengthen its action in the field of human rights : the issues of death penalty, torture, freedom of the media shall be efficiently addressed, activities relating to human rights defenders shall be developed, the question of migrants shall be dealt with, urgently» said Ms. Souhayr Belhassen, FIDH President.