We join others in welcoming President Cederfelt back to the Permanent Council and thank her for her presentation. Norway highly appreciates the work of the OSCE Parliamentary Assembly. It plays an important role in bringing together parliamentarians from the participating States, thus enhancing the political and popular legitimacy of the OSCE as a whole.
In dialogue with their constituencies, governments and colleagues, parliamentarians can contribute significantly to furthering support for multilateral solutions to national and international challenges, and insight in international issues. An important task for the parliamentarians of the Assembly should be to develop the understanding of their national parliaments of the need for a robust budget for the OSCE to be able to fulfill its mandated tasks.
In providing legitimacy for government, elections are an essential element of democracy. Observation of elections by international organizations and institutions is an important instrument for assisting states in their efforts to strengthen democratic institutions, and the role of the OSCE Parliamentary Assembly is significant. We highly value that the Assembly speaks out against threats to democracy and against unfulfilled commitments.