Minister Waszczykowski also referred to the importance of OSCE cooperation, challenges posed by the so-called third or human dimension of this cooperation, and the need to return to a situation where all participating states comply with the OSCE principles. “Speaking about the human dimension, we do not omit the critically important political-military context and, at the same time, considering the political issues, we do not forget about the respect for human rights and democratic values. These rights and values, which are often put in jeopardy during crisis situations, constitute an inseparable part of every far-reaching solution,” observed Poland’s foreign policy chief.
The foreign minister went on to highlight the HDIM’s importance in terms of encouraging countries to respect the OSCE rules and commitments, building trust, and enhancing constructive dialogue with a view to abandoning the attitude of aggressive confrontation between states.
Organized in Warsaw by the OSCE Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights (ODIHR), the HDIM is Europe’s biggest conference devoted to human rights and democracy. The opening session was attended, among others, by the OSCE Secretary General Thomas Greminger, the OSCE High Commissioner on National Minorities, Ambassador Lamberto Zannier, the new ODIHR Director Ingibjörg Sólrún Gísladóttir, and the OSCE Representative on Freedom of the Media Harlem Désir.
This year’s edition of the HDIM is taking place between 11 and 22 September. The 10-day conference comprises 18 working sessions and close to a hundred side events. Government delegates from OSCE participating and partner states, representatives of OSCE institutions and field operations, civil society activists, envoys of international organizations, and human right protection experts will discuss such topics as freedom of expression and the media, freedom of assembly and association, the role of domestic human rights protection institutions, civil society, democratic elections and institutions, equal participation in public life, freedom of religion and belief, fighting racism, xenophobia, and religious intolerance, countering hate crimes, and the rights of national minorities.