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Rep. Christopher H. Smith, Chairman
Senator Ben Nighthorse Campbell, Co-Chairman
For Immediate Release
February 19, 2004


(Washington) - The United States Helsinki Commission will hold a hearing on Bulgaria’s leadership of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) featuring the testimony of His Excellency Solomon Passy, Foreign Minister of Bulgaria and Chair-in-Office of the OSCE.  

The Bulgarian Leadership of the OSCE

10:30 AM - 11:30 AM

Thursday, February 26, 2004

334 Cannon House Office Building



            His Excellency Solomon Passy, Foreign Minister of the Republic of Bulgaria and Chair-in-Office, Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe


Bulgaria assumed its one-year chairmanship of the OSCE in January 2004.  This Helsinki Commission hearing will review the OSCE's program for 2004 under Bulgaria’s leadership.  Chair-in-Office Bulgarian Foreign Minister Solomon Passy has said that implementation of OSCE commitments would top the agenda for Bulgaria’s Chairmanship of the OSCE.  Specific issues expected to be discussed are the ongoing conflict in Chechnya, OSCE efforts to resolve the Transdniestrian conflict, work to resolve the “frozen conflicts” in the Caucasus, OSCE efforts to combat anti-Semitism and human trafficking, the situation in Central Asia, as well as promoting respect for human rights and democratic values throughout the OSCE region.  The hearing will also highlight Bulgaria's experience in its own transition to democracy and ongoing human rights efforts.


The OSCE is the largest regional security organization in the world with 55 participating States from Europe, Eurasia and North America.  Its approach to security encompasses a wide range of security-related issues including arms control, preventive diplomacy, confidence- and security-building measures, human rights, democratization, election monitoring and economic and environmental security. All OSCE participating States have equal status and decisions are based on consensus.


The OSCE has deployed numerous missions and field activities throughout Southeastern Europe, the Caucasus, Eastern Europe and Central Asia. It works to facilitate political processes, prevent or settle conflicts, and promote democracy, human rights and the rule of law.

An un-official transcript will be available on the Helsinki Commission's web site at within 24 hours of the hearing.

The United States Helsinki Commission, an independent federal agency, by law monitors and encourages progress in implementing provisions of the Helsinki Accords. The Commission, created in 1976, is composed of nine Senators, nine Representatives and one official each from the Departments of State, Defense and Commerce.

Media Contact: Ben Anderson
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Serbian Foreign Minister Ivica Dacic (C), who serves as Chairman-in-Office of the OSCE in 2015, meeting with House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy (L) and Helsinki Commission Chairman Chris Smith (R) immediately after the February 25 hearing on Serbia's leadership of the OSCE. (Feb. 2015)