COPENHAGEN, 4 January 2016 – Roberto Montella of Italy has begun service as Secretary General of the OSCE Parliamentary Assembly.
He assumes the post following two decades of work in international politics, including in the governmental and parliamentary sides of the OSCE.
“I have spent most of my career trying to build bridges between conflicting sides in South East Europe. I consider creating harmony and facilitating dialogue to be the central pillar of my approach,” Montella said.
“As Secretary General, I will strive to do the same. That means strengthening links, and forging new ones, between the Assembly and the OSCE’s governmental side and with other international organizations. This is not a goal in itself, but a way to help our parliamentarians deliver concrete results to the ‘end users’ of the OSCE’s products – namely, the citizens of OSCE area, and particularly those who live under difficult security situations.”
Montella has held various posts within the OSCE Parliamentary Assembly’s Secretariat, most recently serving as Director of Presidential Administration.
He previously held positions at OSCE field missions in Bosnia and Herzegovina, Kosovo, and Serbia and Montenegro, fulfilling a range of advisory, peace-building and management functions. He also served as Head of the OSCE South Serbia Regional Office and Head of the European Center for Minority Issues in Kosovo.
“I believe that in the face of the tremendous challenges affecting the OSCE area today, we need intensive, international parliamentary co-operation and dialogue more than ever before. The OSCE PA is one of the world’s vital forums for problem-solving and reinforcement of shared commitments. I will work every day to defend its health and facilitate the important work of its elected members,” the new Secretary General concluded.
OSCE PA President Ilkka Kanerva (MP, Finland) said: “I am confident in Roberto Montella’s ability to facilitate and help implement the wide-ranging work of our Assembly during this crucial juncture in the OSCE’s history. On behalf of my fellow parliamentarians, I look forward to our fruitful work together in the years ahead.”
Montella has taken part in nearly 40 election observation missions in the OSCE area and the Middle East, including as Co-ordinator of Long Term Election Observers for The Carter Center. He has served as political advisor to an Italian senator and PACE Vice-President, among other advisory roles. He also holds campaign-related and corporate experience.
In addition to his native Italian and French, Montella is fluent in English and Serbian.
The Secretary General holds general responsibility for managing the affairs of the OSCE PA; implementing the decisions of the Bureau, the Standing Committee and the Assembly; and overseeing the Secretariat’s offices in Copenhagen and Vienna. Along with the Treasurer, he is responsible for the management of the Assembly’s financial resources.
The Secretary General’s term is five years and may be renewed twice.
The OSCE PA Standing Committee voted in favor of Montella at 2015 Annual Session in Helsinki, following a unanimous vote by the Bureau.
He succeeds the Assembly’s first Secretary General, Spencer Oliver of the United States