OSCE participating states invoked the Vienna Mechanism in relation to continuous serious human rights violations in Belarus
On 4th of November, Lithuania, together with 34 other participating states of the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE), invoked the Vienna Mechanism in relation to ongoing serious human rights violations in Belarus and the instrumentalization of the illegal migration by the Lukashenka regime.
A year ago on initiative of seventeen OSCE participating states (including Lithuania) an independent expert, Professor Wolfgang Benedek, has issued a report on alleged human rights violations related to the Presidential elections of 9 August in Belarus. This report has confirmed the commitment of massive and systematic violations and abuses of human rights and fundamental freedoms and made a number of recommendations to the Belarusian authorities, to all participating States and to the wider international community.
The OSCE Vienna mechanism has been invoked since in spite of repeated calls by the international community the Belarus authorities have not taken any steps towards the implementation of these recommendations. On the contrary, the human rights situation in Belarus has worsened, and furthermore the Minsk regime actions in political instrumentalization of migrants puts vulnerable people at risk, and has a destabilising effect on regional security.
The Vienna Mechanism is an OSCE Human dimension tool, allowing a possibility without the need for consensus to request a certain country to provide information and concrete responses in regards to the implementation of their OSCE human dimension commitments.
Please find the attached statement delivered on behalf of the following delegations: Albania, Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Canada, Croatia, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Ireland, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Montenegro, The Netherlands, North Macedonia, Norway, Portugal, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Switzerland, the UK, Ukraine, and the United States.
On 14-15 October, Ambassador Vaidotas Verba, Permanent Representative of Lithuania to the International Organizations in Vienna, participated at a conference „ODIHR: three decades and ready for the future Democracy, human rights and security“ marking the 30th anniversary of the OSCE Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights (ODIHR).
On September 17th, the Permanent Representative of Lithuania to the International Organizations in Vienna Ambassador Mr. Vaidotas Verba presented his letter of credence to the Executive Secretary of the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty Organization (CTBTO), Dr. Robert Floyd.
On 24 June 2021, in Vienna, at the Permanent Council of the Organisation for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE), Lithuania rejected Russia’s accusation of serious human rights violations. Lithuania’s representative informed the Council about her country’s commitment to a policy of zero tolerance towards anti-Semitism, racism, intolerance, xenophobia and other manifestations of hate. She also reaffirmed that the rights of national minorities in Lithuania are guaranteed by the Constitution and that its laws fully conform to its international commitments. Lithuania also actively promotes media freedom and freedom of expression, and strictly adheres to international commitments in this area.
On 2 February, on the initiative of Lithuania, the Foreign Ministers of the Baltic states sent letters to the heads of the Council of Europe and the Organisation for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE), condemning the use of violence against peaceful protesters by Russian authorities and calling on the international community to take immediate action to stop mass detentions of protestors and journalists across Russia.