STATEMENT BY AMBASSADOR RAUF ENGİN SOYSAL PERMANENT REPRESENTATIVE OF TURKEY In response to the Minister of Foreign Affairs of Italy, H.E. Mr. Angelino Alfano (1155th Meeting of the Permanent Council)
Thank you, Mr. Chairperson.
We warmly welcome His Excellency Mr. Angelino Alfano, Minister of Foreign Affairs of Italy to the Permanent Council. I wish to thank him for his comprehensive presentation of the 2018 Italian Chairmanship’s priorities. We are particularly pleased to attend the last meeting of the Permanent Council before
the summer recess in your presence Mr. Minister, and with the appointments to the top positions of our Organization completed.
Mr. Minister, Italy is preparing to assume the Chairmanship of our Organization at a time when the OSCE area is beset by multiple challenges. The need for genuine dialogue to overcome these, is evident, as stated by many of our Ministers last week in Mauerbach.
The most formidable challenge on our agenda is the crisis in and around Ukraine. It continues to call into question the principles and core values of the OSCE and the entire international system. We trust that Italian Chairmanship will continue the efforts towards a tangible progress on achieving
sustainable peace and stability in Ukraine.
The unresolved protracted conflicts that the OSCE is mandated to deal with continue to pose another serious challenge to achieving the goal of creating an area of stability, cooperation and prosperity spanning the OSCE geography. It is obvious that we cannot afford to leave these conflicts “frozen”. Therefore, they need to remain a priority item on our agenda. Our organization should be more active in the resolution of these conflicts
through peaceful means.
Transnational crimes, particularly terrorism and violent extremism have reached to unprecedented levels. We, therefore, must continue to build on our existing commitments and the work of our Organization to counter transnational threats in all their various aspects. While doing so, we should also keep focusing on the dangerous trend of polarization that is engulfing the OSCE area, with particular emphasis on matters relating to tolerance and non-discrimination.
We remain convinced that the capacity of our Organization in economic and environmental dimension needs to be reinforced. We appreciate the
work of the Office of the Economic and Environmental Affairs and the field missions in areas related to the second dimension. We welcome the intention of the Italian Chairmanship to focus on economic progress through innovation, human capital development and good governance.
We see a continuing need to reaffirm and strengthen the OSCE’s commitments in the human dimension. All issues related to this vital pillar of our comprehensive security concept are fundamentally and equally important. Thus, we must avoid setting up artificial hierarchies among them. Regrettably, we observe increasing levels of racism, xenophobia, intolerance and discrimination in the OSCE region. This issue, therefore, requires equal consideration, focus and effort as the others.
The security of the OSCE area is closely linked to the security and stability of the neighbouring regions. We believe it is important to continue deepening our relations with our Cooperation Partners. We are pleased that the Italian Chairmanship will focus on the opportunities and challenges posed by the current large movements of people with a cross-dimensional and comprehensive manner. As a significant step towards this approach, we expect fruitful discussions during the 2017 OSCE Mediterranean Conference.
The politico-military sphere is another area affected by the lack of trust.We continue to see the CFE, the Vienna Document and the Open Skies Treaty as the cornerstones of Europe’s security architecture.They
may be outdated in some areas, and may need improvements in others. Butthey represent significant legal and political commitments that need to be respected and may be built upon, where needed. We expect theStructured Dialogue to proceed on this basis and in full conformity with its mandate.
Last but not least, I would like to reiterate Turkey’s strong support to OSCE’s work related to gender equality.
Mr. Minister, we thank you for being with us here today and wish you every success in your upcoming Chairmanship of our Organization.