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OSCE Summit: Security Covers Economic And Human Problems, Summit Concludes

Lisbon, 3 December 1996 (RFE/RL) -- The European summit has agreed that a comprehensive system of security for Europe must cover more than simply military security.

The final document to be issued later today recognizes that security includes the economic situation, social and environmental issues, human rights and freedom of the press and media.

The statement says: "The OSCE comprehensive approach to security requires improvement in the implementation of all commitments in the human dimension, in particular with respect to human rights and fundamental freedoms.

"This will further anchor the common values of a free and democratic society in all participating states, which is an essential foundation for our common security."

It says continuing human rights violations include "involuntary migration, the absence of full democratization, threats to independent media, electoral fraud, manifestations of aggressive nationalism, racism, chauvinism, xenophobia and anti-semitism." It says all these continue to endanger stability in the OSCE region.

The document adds that "Freedom of the press and the media are among the basic prerequisites for truly democratic and civil societies." It says there is a need to strengthen the implementation of OSCE commitments in the field of media, taking into account also the work of other international organizations.

The summit document proposes that OSCE appoint an ombudsman with responsibility for freedom of the media. It says a mandate for the ombudsman's activities should be submitted at the latest to the foreign ministers' meeting in Copenhagen next December.

The statement says the OSCE should identify "the risks to security arising from economic, social and environmental problems, discussing their causes and potential consequences." It should draw the attention of the appropriate international institutions to the need to take measures to alleviate the difficulties stemming from those risks.

"With this aim, the OSCE should further enhance its ties to mutually-reinforcing international economic and financial institutions, including regular consultations at appropriate levels aimed at improving the ability to identify and assess at an early stage the security relevance of economic, social and environmental developments."

The document also obliges OSCE to enhance its co-operation with regional, sub-regional and trans-border co-operative initiatives in the economic and professional field. It says these contribute to the promotion of good-neighborly relations and security.

The document emphasizes the concern of the heads of state and government on this issue by proposing that OSCE should appoint a special co-ordinator on economic and environmental problems. The mandate for the co-ordinator's activities should be drawn up in the next few months and should be approved no later than the foreign ministers meeting in Copenhagen next December.