As the Chairperson of the Security Committee

Tacan İLDEM 22.03.2012
Presentation by Ambassador Tacan İldem,
the Chairperson of the Security Committee
to the Permanent Council
22 March 2012

Mr. Chairperson,

Dear Colleagues,

I am pleased to address the Permanent Council today as the Chairperson of the Security Committee.

At the outset, I would like to thank the Irish Chairmanship for giving us, the Chairs of the three committees, the opportunity to address the Permanent Council. I value the time devoted today in consideration of the activities of the Security Committee as an important contribution to building support to the work that we have embarked upon in our Committee.

As you know, the Security Committee was tasked to inform and assist the Permanent Council in the field of our organization’s activities related to non-military aspects of security.

Needless to say that the priorities of the Irish Chairmanship provide us the main guidance for our work. I also would like to take this opportunity to share with you some priorities from my perspective, as the Chair of the Committee, for the work to be undertaken in the course of this year:

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First, in our profession, communication is our primary instrument to find a way to bridge our different perceptions. In this context, I attach great importance to the role of the Security Committee as the main forum for dialogue to exchange views related to the non-military aspects of security.
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On the other hand, we need to strive to set up a stage to create awareness and increase knowledge of participating States concerning the issues relevant to the work of the Security Committee.
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In line with the objectives of the new Transnational Threats (TNT) Directorate, enhancing coherence and coordination among participating States, Secretariat and the Chairmanship will be yet another important priority.
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In the long perspective, we should spare no effort to further the process and take the work of the Security Committee to the next level.
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Furthermore, we will continue to focus on the considerably advanced business in our hand that needs to be completed. Apart from the possible new deliverables to be shaped by the outcome of our discussions, based on a realistic and balanced approach, one of our priorities is going to be finalizing the unaccomplished work of last year.
Now, after highlighting these priorities, let me dwell upon some specific issues of interest to us all. It is a shared opinion that the focus on the possible contribution of the OSCE in countering transnational threats and on other pertinent issues on the agenda of the Committee have deepened significantly in recent years. This is an area where there is a relatively satisfactory level of appreciation on a wide number of issues among participating States. In this regard, it can contribute to the overall "building blocks" approach that is dear to the Irish Chairmanship.

In so far as the work of the Security Committee is concerned, I am sure you will agree with me that the most important recent development has been the establishment of the TNT Department and the appointment of the TNT Director. This was achieved both in line with the Ministerial Council decision 9/11 adopted in Vilnius and the approval of the budget at the end of last year.

The creation of the Directorate, which was also the first step of the Secretary General in his willingness to reform the organization, should not merely be a way to improve coordination and efficiency in the current tasks performed by this organization. I believe that we should also aim at incremental steps in enhancing our capacity to support participating States in tackling the various transnational threats that affect them.

In the period ahead of us, the TNT Department and the OSCE as a whole, should also have a proactive approach and address the existing issues threatening the participating States. The OSCE is the largest organization in its geographical area. Its footprint in TNT should be in line with this posture. Our unique approach to security across the three dimensions, allows us to have a comparative advantage over other international organizations in providing an added value in addressing the TNT. The creation of the TNT Directorate can also help us in achieving a qualitative increase in OSCE’s efforts in fostering cooperation with other relevant international organizations.

The TNT Directorate could also increase the capacity of the organization in bringing new challenges faced by participating States to our agenda. Cyber security is just one of them that we can cite as an example. Consensus is at the heart of our work in this organization and engaging in a meaningful and result-oriented dialogue will help us to reach a common understanding. The TNT Directorate’s technical expertise will remedy certain misunderstandings in our search for a consensual position on a number of issues on our plate.

Also within the organization, the TNT Department can help us explore potential synergies and better coherence regarding the established programmes on transnational threats. It can also help participating States in the already started endeavour in trying to consolidate and modernize the existing mandates in this area. Eliminating overlaps and streamlining taskings should be one additional aim. I should like to mention here that the mandate of the TNT Directorate itself is also a pending issue that should be addressed in the Committee as well.

To sum up, this is an occasion both to put our house in order and to expand towards affirming a stronger footprint of the OSCE in its activities in the area of TNT.

Now I would like to turn to the work carried out in the Committee so far.

First, I would like to touch upon the work programme. Following the example set by my predecessor Ambassador Heiner Horsten, to whom I would like to pay a particular tribute here for his vision on all issues related to TNT in this organization, we have prepared a draft work plan for the year. In the process of preparation, I benefited from my initial consultations with different units of the Secretariat. I would like to thank them for their advice and openness to cooperate.

I am pleased to note that the draft work programme enjoyed a wide support among participating States during the discussion in the Committee. Let me take this opportunity to share with you some of its elements:

Seeing the need to strengthen our cross-dimensional approach, I believe that it will be useful to have a number of thematic meetings in dealing with different aspects of each individual question that we will focus on. In this regard, we will tackle issues such as combating trafficking in human beings, gender and security, Afghanistan, cooperation with other international and regional organizations on TNT issues as well as violent extremism and radicalism that lead to terrorism (VERLT). This will be in line with the true nature of the approach to security in this organization and we will try to develop the cross-dimensional linkages among various TNT issues, as they require complementary responses.

As I was referring to our Committee as a forum of dialogue, there is much to gain from exchanges between the participating States and the executive structures of our organization. In line with the objectives of the new TNT Directorate, enhancing coherence and coordination among participating States, Secretariat and the Chairmanship will be one of our main targets. In the first two meetings of the Committee, it is with great appreciation that we have worked closely with the Secretary General and had him in our midst in his capacity as the acting officer of the TNT Department. I look forward to working in close cooperation with the new TNT Director as well when he assumes his duties.

I see the Committee as providing an opportunity for the 56 participating States in sharing their perspectives and best practices as well. As we will dwell upon current and possible new ideas and hopefully reach concrete deliverables, I encourage all of you to take benefit of this forum and actively participate in our exchanges.

I also perceive the Committee as a forum of interaction with the outside world. In this vein, I would like to inform you of our intention to continue with the practice to expose the participating States with the knowledge base and expertise of other relevant international and regional organizations with appropriate guest speakers to share their views with us. This exercise will be particularly useful in understanding how we may complement the already existing efforts of other international organizations and create synergies with the objective of avoiding any unnecessary duplication, in line with the comprehensive approach that should guide the activities of all international actors.

Let me state that our Committee will allow sufficient time for trying to forge a convergence of views on the four pending draft decisions regarding cyber security, strategic framework for police activities, consolidated mandate for counter-terrorism as well as the concept for combating illicit drugs that we inherited from last year.

These drafts are relevant in our common endeavour to strengthen the role and relevance of our organization in these respective fields. We will continue our discussions on these drafts in the Security Committee and hopefully forward them for adoption, as soon as they are ready.

Our consultations are still going on with the aim of building a consensus and I hope that we will be able to achieve tangible results in the near future. In this regard, I will continue my efforts under the leadership of the Irish Chairmanship as well as with the contributions of the “Chefs de Files” to reach a positive result on these decisions. We look for “win-win” solutions where the sensitivities of all sides could be taken on board in a reasonable and balanced manner.

Then, possibly after the summer recess, new deliverables could be shaped depending on the outcome of our discussions.

Related to our work programme, last but not least, I would like to underline a novelty in the work of our Committee for this year: some of our meetings will be open for our partners for cooperation in line with the possibility offered by the Rules of Procedure. I believe that this will further strengthen our engagement with our Partners, as decided upon in Vilnius, and will be mutually beneficial to all sides.

Mr. Chairperson,

Before I conclude, allow me to make a few additional comments on some of the challenges and the way ahead in the Security Committee.

Utilizing the OSCE expertise more effectively and coherently and enhancing activities in areas where the OSCE can deliver added value will continue to be a challenge that we will be facing in the work of all of our Committees. It is my earnest belief that by making the best use of our organization’s comparative advantages and strengths as well as streamlining our coordination, the profile of our organization in our respective fields can be raised.

While doing so, we are well aware of the fact that the decisions will have to be adopted by all 56 participating States. In this respect, the concerns of each participating State are important and need to be duly taken into account in our work. As the Chairperson of the Security Committee, I will do my utmost to perform my duties as an impartial facilitator in bridging diverging views that continue to exist among participating States on the outstanding issues and try to find a common ground to be able to move forward.

Let me underline once again that my colleagues and I remain at the disposal of all participating States for any advice and suggestion regarding our work.

In conclusion, I look forward to the continued support of the participating States, the Secretary General, the TNT Director and the Department as well as the able experts at the OSCE Secretariat and other executive structures to move forward the work of the Security Committee in the coming months.

Thank you Mr. Chairperson.