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Hon. Benjamin L. Cardin, Chairman
Hon. Alcee L. Hastings, Co-Chairman
For Immediate Release
February 25, 2010


Assistant Secretaries Posner and Vershbow of State and Defense join Commission

WASHINGTON—U.S. Senator Benjamin L. Cardin (D-MD), Chairman of the Commission on Security and Cooperation in Europe (Helsinki Commission), and Co-Chairman Congressman Alcee L. Hastings (D-FL) today issued the following joint statement welcoming the White House appointments to the Commission of Michael H. Posner, Assistant Secretary of State for Democracy, Human Rights, and Labor, and Alexander Vershbow, Assistant Secretary of Defense for International Security Affairs.

“Well before their appointment to the Helsinki Commission, Assistant Secretary Posner and Assistant Secretary Vershbow both demonstrated an enthusiastic interest in our activities. Both men testified before the Commission in October at a hearing focused on the future of U.S. policy toward the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe. We welcome both men and their impressive sets of skills and experiences to the Commission.

“Assistant Secretary Vershbow served 32 years with the U.S. Foreign Service, including time as Ambassador to Russia and Ambassador to the North Atlantic Treaty Organization, experiences that will serve our country well as we look to strengthen current security structures. Assistant Secretary Posner brings a lifetime of human rights advocacy work that will be a welcome addition to the Commission best known for its work monitoring the human dimensions of international security and cooperation.

“As an independent federal agency, bringing together Commissioners from the executive and legislative branches, the Helsinki Commission is strongest when operating with our full complement of 21 members. We look forward to the full and active participation of our newly appointed Commissioners from the Departments of State and Defense.”

The Commission on Security and Cooperation in Europe, also known as the U.S. Helsinki Commission, is an independent agency of the Federal Government charged with monitoring compliance with the Helsinki Accords and advancing comprehensive security through promotion of human rights, democracy, and economic, environmental and military cooperation in 56 countries. The Commission consists of nine members from the U.S. Senate, nine from the House of Representatives, and one member each from the Departments of State, Defense, and Commerce.


Media Contact: Neil Simon
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