The act, which would combat Russia’s religious freedom violations in the Crimea and Donbas regions of Ukraine, unanimously passed in the House of Representatives in November 2020 and awaits Senate action. Workers' Compensation Commission PO Box 1715 1333 Main Street, Suite 500 Columbia, SC 29202-1715 803-737-5700 Women’s Economic Empowerment Participating States also adopted decisions on preventing and combating corruption; strengthening co-operation to counter transnational organized crime; deepening cooperation with OSCE’s Asian Partners;  supporting the Transdniestrian settlement process (also known in the OSCE as the “5+2” format, which brings together representatives of Moldova, Transdniestria, the OSCE, the Russian Federation, Ukraine, the European Union, and the United States); and selecting North Macedonia to chair the organization in 2023. WASHINGTON—Following reports last week that Russian authorities cancelled U.S. citizen and human rights lawyer Vanessa Kogan’s residency permit and ordered her to leave the country by mid-December, Helsinki Commission Co-Chairman Sen. Roger Wicker (MS) issued the following statement: The pandemic has revealed—and in some cases amplified—human rights shortcomings, democratic weaknesses, racial inequities, and social vulnerabilities across the region.”  Mrs. Hana Rado, chief operating officer of McCann Tel Aviv, co-founder and chairperson of AloTok, and president of Supersonas Israel, noted the disproportionate burden of unemployment women in Israel face during COVID-19. For decades, the Open Skies Treaty has provided crucial security benefits across Europe, and it continues to have the support of our allies and partners across the Atlantic. Commission on security and cooperation in Europe. Ahead of the 2020 general elections, the commission held a briefing on the intersections and influences of disinformation and COVID-19 on the electoral process. The Division of Employment Security (DES) supports the Department's vision statement by administering the state’s Unemployment Insurance (UI) program. Congress is on the verge of creating a Senate-confirmed national cyber director within the White House who would advise the president on cybersecurity and coordinate the federal government’s related work. In this episode, Professor Wolfgang Benedek, the rapporteur appointed to investigate the crisis in Belarus, discusses his findings that human rights abuses are "massive and systematic, and proven beyond doubt" and his recommendations to address the violations. Elections: The Last Mile – In this blogpost, former Testing & Certification Director Brian Hancock provides thoughts on election security. From urgent crises in Belarus and the Caucasus to the ongoing Russia-fueled war in Ukraine, all three dimensions of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE)’s definition of comprehensive security—military, economic and human—are under strain, while the organization itself has been weakened in its ability to respond to these crises due to several leadership vacancies. As adopted, the decision includes explicit references to enforced disappearances and to incommunicado detention. Ambassador Reeker underscored the United States’ intention to push back against the malign influence of People’s Republic of China and the Communist Party of China across the OSCE region. The charter states, “Europe is liberating itself from the legacy of the past. Chairman Bartholomew is the former Chief of Staff, Counsel, Legislative Director, and Foreign Policy Advisor to U.S. House of Representatives Speaker Nancy Pelosi. As its occupation of Crimea and military intervention in Eastern Ukraine have led to Russia’s isolation and sanctions by the United States and others in recent years, the OSCE is one of the few remaining multilateral forums for American diplomats to directly engage with their Russian counterparts. He cited the rise of anti-Semitism, anti-Muslim sentiment, anti-Roma racism, and other forms of hatred in Europe and committed the United States to continue to press strongly for the release of political prisoners and detainees in the region. Since 1990, the OSCE has acted as a forum for political dialogue and a platform for joint action across North America, Europe, and Asia through its institutions, structures, and field operations. and Shannon Simrell, Representative of the Helsinki Commission to the U.S. Mission to the OSCE } ... and a member of the National Commission on Military, National, and Public Service. We are a US government commission that promotes human rights, military security, and economic cooperation in 57 countries in Europe, Eurasia, and North America. In Missouri, it is a joint state-federal program funded solely through tax contributions paid by employers, so no deductions are made from employees’ paychecks for this insurance. During the OSCE’s three-session Security Days event in October “Revitalizing Trust and Co-operation in Europe: Lessons of the Paris Charter,” former U.S. Secretary of State James A. Baker III, who played a leading role in the charter’s formation, recalled signing the agreement as an “optimistic, almost festive event.” Mr. Albinyana shared similar best practices around the use of policy to eliminate inequities in educational attainment, women’s employment, and access to finances and capital. By institutionalizing the CSCE as a platform to realize peace and security, this process transformed the multilateral Conference into the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE), which today is the world’s largest regional security organization, comprising 57 participating States. and Michelle Ikelau Ngirbabulka, Max Kampelman Fellow Chairman of the U.S. Helsinki Commission Rep. Alcee L. Hastings and U.S. ... and a member of the National Commission on Military, National, and Public Service. Morocco The sessions focused on racism, xenophobia, and intolerance and discrimination; combating racism and discrimination against Roma; the rule of law; access to information and freedom of the media; democratic lawmaking; multilingual education; and human rights defenders. The session focusing on promoting environmental cooperation was opened by H.E. GSS works collaboratively with clients to identify needs and tailors individual solutions that are comprehensive, exacting, and cost-effective. In response to the apparent violation of these rights, 17 other OSCE states invoked one of the key human rights tools at their disposal: the Moscow Mechanism, a procedure that allows for the establishment of a short-term fact-finding mission tasked with producing a report on a specific human rights concern and recommendations on how to resolve it. Carolyn Bartholomew, Chairman – 2021 Report Cycle. } The views expressed … Division of Enforcement Stephanie Avakian, Director (202) 551-4500. Although the webinars raised important human rights issues, they could not substitute for the HDIM, particularly as their format and short duration did not permit significant dialogue with civil society. There, the company hired a … The OSCE operates field missions in 13 participating States with the goal of supporting the development of host countries’ democratic institutions, legal frameworks, and ability to meet various human rights, media freedom, and policing commitments. The charter marks a triumph of the comprehensive definition of security these principles represent and a moment of unity, which participating States hoped to maintain through enhanced cooperation. – Ann Linde, Minister of Foreign Affairs of Sweden Mr. Grammenos Mastrojeni, deputy secretary general for energy and climate action at the Union for the Mediterranean, asserted that strengthening cooperation and partnerships to address environmental challenges magnified by climate change can facilitate sustainable development in all its aspects, advance green growth, and foster common security. “It remains the responsibility of the participating States to hold each other to account. Instead, the network organized a series of webinars in December to maintain focus on key issues of concern. Slovenia Dozens of side events are also organized by nongovernmental organizations, OSCE institutions, other international organizations, and participating States, which meet for up to an additional six hours a day. .] WASHINGTON—Following U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo’s December 7 designations for Countries of Particular Concern (CPC) and the Special Watch List for the worst religious freedom violations, Helsinki Commission Co-Chairman Sen. Roger Wicker (MS) issued the following statement: Nov 20, 2020 2021 Employer Tax Rates Released. With 17 of 323 seats, the United States has the largest representation in the assembly. The Ministerial Council’s four side events highlighted priority areas for participating States and for the Parliamentary Assembly. She should be allowed to stay in Russia and continue her work.” “Under the leadership of President Shavkat Mirziyoyev, Uzbekistan commendably has released religious prisoners, registered more religious organizations, and maintained the ban on police raids against religious communities. At this annual session, Helsinki Commission Ranking Member Cardin, who also serves as OSCE PA Special Representative on Anti-Semitism, Racism, and Intolerance, hosted a U.S. side event in his capacity as Special Representative on the topic of adopting an action plan to counter hate and foster inclusion. Cyprus Hungary He said that the United States would urge the OSCE to augment its engagement in the ongoing crisis and violent crackdown in Belarus. Chairman Hastings, Co-Chairman Wicker, and Ranking Member Cardin joined bipartisan Congressional efforts to support annual funding for State Department and USAID diversity fellowship programs, as well as study abroad opportunities. However, it is essential that reforms continue. – Ambassador Philip T. Reeker, Senior Bureau Official Rep. Alcee L. Hastings (FL-20), Chairman, U.S. Helsinki Commission Our Constitution, laws, and values are the foundation of our strength and security. “Secretary Pompeo rightfully redesignated Tajikistan and Turkmenistan as Countries of Particular Concern. Later that year, the commission reported on an amendment to the Hungarian religion law, which continues to discriminate against people on the basis of their faith. Chairman Hastings also authored an amendment to the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) for the 2021 Fiscal Year to reflect support for the Open Skies Treaty and stated his regret in November when the U.S. withdrew from the treaty. Welcome to the European and North Atlantic (EUR/NAT) Office of the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO). During October’s Security Days event, former OSCE Secretary General and former High Commissioner on National Minorities Ambassador Lamberto Zannier called for reinvigorated political support and investment by participating States to enable the OSCE to continue its vital work. Wednesday’s attempt to disrupt our democracy through lawlessness and intimidation was intended to cast doubt on that principle but was doomed to fail. Members of the Helsinki Commission introduced the Rodchenkov Act, the Kleptocrat Exposure Act, the Combating the Illicit Trade in Tobacco Products Act (CITTPA), the Countering Russian and Other Overseas Kleptocracy (CROOK) Act, the Foreign Extortion Prevention Act, and the Transnational Repression Accountability and Prevention (TRAP) Act. He pledged to keep the protracted conflicts in Europe—whether in Ukraine, Moldova, Georgia, or Nagorno-Karabakh—high on the OSCE agenda, and added that the United States would encourage greater focus on hybrid threats that were destabilizing already tense security environments. In March 2019, he introduced legislation establishing a strategy to protect the collective history and achievements of people of African descent and to promote the human rights of people of African descent worldwide, and a year later, he introduced a bill to implement a government-wide diversity and inclusion plan. Nine Commissioners are members of the Senate, nine are members of the House of Representatives, and three are executive branch officials. There has been strong support among participating States for moving the HDIM, which is typically been held in the early fall, to earlier in the year to prevent any conflict with the annual United Nations General Assembly meeting. Priorities for Engagement at the OSCE,” where Ambassador Philip T. Reeker U.S. State Department Senior Bureau Official, who has been serving in the role of Acting Assistant Secretary for Europe and Eurasia since March 2018, emphasized that the United States is focused on upholding Helsinki Final Act commitments and pushing all participating States to live up to their own commitments to these principles. As the participating States and the OSCE institutions strove to adjust to circumstances created by the COVID-19 pandemic, convening the annual Human Dimension Implementation Meeting (HDIM) presented particular challenges due to its length and complexity. As 2021 Chair-in-Office, Sweden will have the task of consulting with the participating States on the entire calendar of OSCE meetings and events, continuing to adjust plans as needed in light of the COVID-19 pandemic. Following a two-day seminar organized by Helsinki Commission and the OSCE PA in February 2020, Future Leadership for Political Inclusion in the OSCE Region: A Seminar for Young Parliamentarians, nearly 20 young legislators from OSCE participating States issued a joint declaration emphasizing the important role young people must play in addressing human rights and security challenges across the world. MTS hires New York MTA chief as new director of transit security and passenger safety The 30-year transit veteran will be responsible for more than 220 security and code compliance officers. As an organization promoting the principles of democracy and as a forum for conflict resolution, the OSCE is a valuable tool to hold authoritarian regimes accountable throughout the region, which stretches from Vancouver to Vladivostok. However, he concluded that all online or hybrid HDIM variants would have significant disadvantages for civil society, particularly since one of the most important components of the HDIM—informal, person-to-person contacts—could not be replicated virtually After the invocation by 17 OSCE participating States of the Moscow Mechanism to report on human rights concerns in Belarus and subsequent investigation, Professor Wolfgang Benedek—the selected rapporteur—joined the Helsinki Commission for a podcast to discuss his findings, including evidence of fraudulent elections, systematic human rights violations, and a general situation of impunity for perpetrators. Hadid also discussed how COVID-19 has highlighted and exacerbated persistent inequities in unpaid household work, domestic violence, and permanent exits from the labor force. Some used a “hybrid” or “blended” format, permitting in-person engagement in Vienna (to the extent that in-person gatherings were allowed by changing local health measures), reinforced by additional participation through videoconferencing. Members of the Helsinki Commission have long supported diversity and inclusion efforts in international affairs including through the annual Transatlantic Inclusion Leaders Network (TILN) workshop, a hearing about the state of diversity and inclusion in Europe, and a new transatlantic democracy program for youth “On the Road to Inclusion.” Our Constitution, laws, and values are the foundation of our strength and security. Hermogenes Esperon. Uzbekistan was a CPC from 2006 to 2017 and on the Special Watch List from 2018 to 2019. Home>; Issues>; 9-11 Commission, Homeland Security, and Intelligence Reform. “The type of human rights work Vanessa Kogan is doing in Russia is essential in a country where rule of law is often subverted to serve the interests of those in power. Payment schedules may be impacted for some claimants due to the upcoming Martin Luther King Jr. holiday. Foreign ministers of the 57 OSCE participating States convened on December 3 - 4, 2020, for the 27th OSCE Ministerial Council. The Helsinki Commission strives to ensure that the protection of human rights and democratic development are central to a principled U.S. foreign policy. We are a US government commission that promotes human rights, military security, and economic cooperation in 57 countries in Europe, Eurasia, and North America. Ranking Member Wilson (SC-02) ascribed the OSCE’s ability to contribute to pressing issues like combating human trafficking and tackling corruption to its broad focus. Reflecting the extraordinary times, the 2020 Human Dimension Implementation Meeting was canceled by decision of the participating States. “To move forward as a nation, members of both parties must stand together to reaffirm the resilience of our democracy, honestly confront the toxic voices in our society that seek to tear us apart, and so prevail over the dangerous extremism that led to this violent rampage.”. As a participating State in the OSCE, Belarus is party to a number of commitments on human rights and fundamental freedoms, such as the right to free and fair elections and the right to peaceful assembly. Official delegations present at 2020 OSCE Mediterranean Conference included: { Deputy Assistant Secretary Kent closed the Moscow Mechanism side event by promising to maintain a focus on the situation in Belarus, to support efforts to hold authorities accountable for torture and other human rights violations, and to ensure the voice of the Belarusian people is heard in determining their country’s future.