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World: OSCE Focuses Fifth Economic Forum On Rule Of Law

Prague, June 11 (NCA/) - The Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) opened its Fifth Economic Forum in Prague today that is focusing on market economies and rule of law in nations with economies in transition.

OSCE Permanent Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs Henrik Wohlk opened the three-day forum at the Foreign Ministry (Czernin Palace). Wohlk cited the recent unrest in Albania, triggered by the wide-scale collapse of risky pyramid investment schemes, as a prime example of the fundamental importance of rule of law. He said it provides NOT only security for the individual within a state, but aids in stability among neighboring nations. He said Albania's crisis had endangered the security of the entire Balkan region. He added that the process of stability and transition had NOT been as smooth as perhaps envisioned, but he stressed the hope that Forum's such as today's might lead the way.

Delegates and representatives will spend the rest of today in closed plenary session. The topics on their agenda are the coverage and implementation of Economic legislation and how best to make such legislation accessible and transparent in transition economies.

Contributing Participants in the Forum include representatives of the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS), the Black Sea Economic Cooperation Council, the Council of Baltic States, and the Central European Initiative (CEI) -- among others.