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U.S. Delegation to the 2012 OSCE Human Dimension Implementation Meeting

24 September 2012
Participants at the Opening Plenary Session of the 16th annual OSCE Human Dimension Implementation Meetng - Europe's largest annual human rights and democracy conference, Warsaw, 24 September 2012. (Credit: OSCE/Piotr Markowski)

Participants at the Opening Plenary Session of the 16th annual OSCE Human Dimension Implementation Meetng - Europe's largest annual human rights and democracy conference, Warsaw, 24 September 2012. (Credit: OSCE/Piotr Markowski)

Ambassador Avis T. Bohlen will lead the U.S. delegation to the Human Dimension Implementation Meeting (HDIM) of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE), to be held in Warsaw, Poland, September 24 to October 5.  The meeting will focus on the OSCE’s human dimension principles.

The Warsaw HDIM is the OSCE region’s most important human rights event of the year, bringing together hundreds of government representatives, human rights activists and international experts.  HDIM Participants will evaluate the implementation of human dimension commitments by the 56 participating States of the OSCE and review the procedures and mechanisms for monitoring and enhancing compliance with these commitments. 

As Ambassador Bohlen recently said, “HDIM is a unique opportunity for the United States and indeed for all participating States to discuss our shared commitments in the Human Dimension, and our commitments to the fundamental freedoms that are the core of civilized society.  This forum allows us to come together to evaluate where we are on human rights throughout the OSCE space, and in this year, to stress the important contribution that civil society organizations make not only to the discussions at HDIM and the deliberations of the OSCE as a whole, but also to the security and stability of participating States throughout the OSCE region.”  Ambassador Bohlen is Chair of the Board of IREX, a U.S.-based nonprofit organization committed to international education in academic research, professional training and technical assistance.  She served as Assistant Secretary of State for Arms Control from 1999 until 2002, Ambassador to Bulgaria (1996 – 1999), and Deputy Assistant Secretary for Security Affairs in the Department of State’s European Bureau (1989-1991). 

This year, the HDIM features three special topics for comment and consideration:  freedom of religion and belief, empowerment of Roma women, and rights of persons belonging to national minorities in OSCE countries.  The United States is proud to have Mr. Salam Al Marayati of the Muslim Public Affairs Council, Professor Ethel Brooks of Rutgers University, and Ms. Nida Gelazis of the Woodrow Wilson Institute serving as public members in the USG delegation to HDIM.  Their expertise will be invaluable in addressing these topics at the meeting.    

At this year’s HDIM, the United States also looks forward to addressing the powerful impact that new digital media have on our world.  We will assert our common belief that the freedoms of expression, association, and assembly, also apply to the virtual world in the same way.  For example, all of these rights apply just as much to a communication sent by Twitter or a gathering organized by Facebook as they do to a conversation on the phone or in a coffee shop, or a demonstration in a public square.

Key Members of the U.S. Delegation to the Warsaw Human Dimension Implementation Meeting, September 24 – October 5:

  • Ambassador Avis T. Bohlen, Head of Delegation
  • Ambassador Ian Kelly, U.S. Representative to the OSCE, U.S. Mission to the OSCE in Vienna, Austria
  • Ambassador Michael Kozak, Senior Advisor on Human Rights and Acting Special Envoy to Monitor and Combat anti-Semitism
  • Ambassador Suzan Johnson Cook, Ambassador-at-Large for International Religious Freedom, Washington, D.C.
  • Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for the Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights and Labor Thomas Melia, Washington, D.C.
  • Dr. Katrina Lantos Swett, Chair, United States Commission on   International Religious Freedom (USCIRF)
  • Salam Al Marayati, Muslim Public Affairs Council
  • Nida Gelazis, Woodrow Wilson Center
  • Ethel Brooks, Rutgers University, public member

For information about the HDIM: http://www.osce.org/hdim_2012

For information about the U.S. Mission to the OSCE: http://osce.usmission.gov

For information about the U.S. delegation at the HDIM, please contact:

Christopher Midura, Public Affairs Adviser at the U.S. Mission to the OSCE

Tel. (+43-1) 31 339 3422   
Cell: (+43) 664 322 9879
E-mail: MiduraC@state.gov

Or

Veronika Sperl, Press Specialist at the U.S. Mission to the OSCE

Tel.: (+43 1) 31 339 3149
Cell: (+43) 664 838 4334
E-mail: SperlVX@state.gov