IN RESPONSE TO THE ADDRESS BY THE OSCE CHAIRPERSON-IN-OFFICE, MINISTER OF FOREIGN AFFAIRS OF UKRAINE, H.E. LEONID KOZHARA

Tacan İldem 17.01.2013
Mr. Chairman,

It is a distinct pleasure for me to join the previous speakers in extending a warm welcome to Minister Kozhara to the Permanent Council as the Chairman-in-Office of our Organization and in expressing our thanks and appreciation for the comprehensive presentation that he kindly shared with us this morning.

Turkey welcomes the “Priorities for Action” which will be pursued by the Ukrainian chairmanship in 2013. We agree with Ukraine that building trust should be a key priority at this juncture.

The presentation of the 2013 Ukrainian priorities today makes us feel confident as to Ukraine’s ability to steer the OSCE in a diligent and capable way. Indeed, we welcome the fact that the priorities have been set out in a balanced way, while also providing consistency and continuity with the previous work.

Let me briefly dwell upon some of the Ukrainian priorities.

Conventional arms control and CSBM regimes remain major tools for ensuring military stability, predictability and transparency. Indeed, these regimes remain relevant to address the security challenges of the 21st century and Turkey is one of those countries who are striving for their continued existence and relevance.

At the same time, we should be remindful of the fact that the main arms control and disarmament arrangements and their dedicated formats lay outside the acquis of this organization. While work is ongoing in those formats, the scope of new discussions in the OSCE on ways of using arms control and CSBM’s for building confidence can only be of a general nature and we should be careful in not creating alternatives to the existing mechanisms.

On issues dealt by the Security Committee, which I will be happy to continue chairing and I thank the Ukrainian Chairmanship for the trust shown, we support a focus on implementation of last year’s decisions, as a driving force in order to enhance OSCE’s contribution to the national efforts to counter the transnational threats.

Since protracted conflicts in the OSCE area continue to erode the security and stability of our region, we welcome the Ukrainian Chairmanship’s intention to focus on re-energizing the efforts of the negotiation formats of protracted conflicts. We will strongly support Ukraine in creating new dynamics favoring peace, dialogue and region-wide cooperation. It is with this understanding that the OSCE should pursue its efforts in the “5+2” talks, the Geneva International Discussions and the Minsk Group, all three formats where the OSCE is engaged as a prominent actor. Settlement of these conflicts will add to the credibility of our Organization.

We share the view of the Chairmanship that effectiveness of the economic and environmental activities should be improved and in this respect, ways of implementing the 2003 Maastricht Strategy Document should be reviewed to adapt to the evolving situation. In this dimension we support Ukraine’s focus on the environmental impact of the energy industry. We are convinced that our discussions will help identify the complementary role the OSCE could play in the energy field.

The OSCE’s body of human dimension commitments testifies to the huge contribution that our Organization has made over the years to the protection of human rights and fundamental freedoms. We welcome the Ukrainian Chairmanship’s intention to promote the full implementation of these valuable commitments by all participating States.

Unfortunately, the significant differences of views among participating States in the human dimension are becoming increasingly evident. The inability to agree on any human dimension decision in the past two Ministerial Councils and now on the 2013 ODHIR budget, are the most visible manifestation of these dividing lines.

As we have stated it in Dublin, we are confident that the Ukrainian Chairmanship will promote further engagement in this dimension in overcoming the prevailing divergence of views. Equally important for us is to strike a balance between the third dimension’s various aspects.

In this vein, we welcome the Chairmanship’s intention to promote the fight against human trafficking. We also support Ukraine’s intention to continue focusing on media freedom. The effective participation of civil society in a wide range of OSCE activities is without doubt one of the great strengths of our Organization, and we welcome Ukraine’s dedication to civil society’s continuing engagement.

We also welcome the Ukrainian Chairmanship’s priority to focus on tolerance and non-discrimination through human rights education for youth. As we have stressed on many occasions, much more needs to be done in order to counter the increasing, often violent incidents of racism and xenophobia in the OSCE area.

We attach utmost importance to the work to be carried out in line with the Dublin Ministerial Council decision on the Helsinki +40 process, within the Working Group at Ambassadorial level. We are confident that the Ukrainian Chairmanship will steer us in launching the process in order to create a solid ground for the next three years. We believe that the initial phase of this work should be to restore trust and confidence among the participating States. What we have to strive for is to take stock of the achievements of our Organization, building on the commitments that we have so far undertaken and to project a vision for the future as to the role and added-value of the OSCE in a changing security environment, with the objective to consolidate a security community as envisaged at the Astana Summit.

Strengthening equal participation and full involvement of women in the maintenance and promotion of peace and security, in line with the UN Security Council Resolution 1325, is mentioned in the Ukrainian “Priorities of Action” and corresponds to our willingness to find ways of enhancing OSCE capacities to assist participating States in implementing this important UN resolution.

We also support the objectives of enhancing result-oriented co-operation with Partners and reinforcing OSCE’s Effectiveness and Efficiency.

In closing, we wish Minister Kozhara every success in his important and demanding task. We also extend these wishes to the competent Ukrainian teams in Kyiv and here in Vienna.

Thank you, Mr. Chairman.