Commission on Security and Cooperation in Europe

Testimony :: The Honorable Ben Nighthorse Campbell
Chairman - The Helsinki Commission

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Just two weeks ago today we experienced the worst terrorist attacks against our country. Since then I have received many expressions of solidarity from parliamentarians from throughout the vast OSCE region for which I am most grateful. These notes and letters are a timely reminder that the OSCE provides an important framework for fostering security based on the principles of democracy and human rights and promoting cooperation among the 55 participating States.

Today’s hearing will focus on developments in Moldova, a nation where the OSCE has made a concerted effort to advance the aims of the Helsinki Final Act, including sovereign equality and territorial integrity. Concerns over the situation in Moldova have been expressed by the Heads of State or Government of the OSCE as far back as 1994. The OSCE Parliamentary Assembly has also provided important leadership on matters relating to Moldova.

These efforts appear to be bearing fruit and there seems to be the political will in Moscow to remove Russian troops, arm and ammunition from the Republic of Moldova. This development has direct implications for Russia’s commitments under the Treaty on Conventional Armed Forces in Europe as well as Moldova’s control of its territory.

It is good to see that progress has been made and we certainly hope it will continue. Obviously, a good deal more needs to done, but the efforts made by all sides so far should be commended.

We hope that all interested parties will work conscientiously to bring a just and lasting solution to the longstanding Transdniestria conflict in keeping with OSCE principles and international law.

Today’s panel is highly qualified to tell us about recent developments in Moldova and the prospects for a brighter future for the Moldovan people based on democracy, a market economy and respect for human rights.

It is a tribute to the importance of this issue that two of our guests have flown in from Europe to address the Commission. We look forward to their testimony and their recommendations.