Statement by Ambassador Tacan İldem, Permanent Representative of Turkey, in Response to the Presentations by the Chairpersons of the Economic and Environmental Committee and the Human Dimension Committee at the 981st Meeting of the Permanent Council

Tacan İLDEM 23.01.2014
Thank you Mr. Chairperson.

It is indeed a great pleasure to salute our esteemed colleagues, Ambassador Ol’ga Algayerova and Ambassador Robert Kvile, in their respective capacities as Chairpersons of the Economic and Environmental Committee and the Human Dimension Committee. I thank them for their comprehensive and informative presentations.

I would also like to take this opportunity to congratulate Ambassador Kvile on his assumption, and Ambassador Algayerova on her resumption, of their duties. I wish them the best of luck in their endeavors, which I know through personal experience prove to be a challenging, yet rewarding task.

Ambassador Algayerova,

Under your able guidance and the Ukrainian Chairmanship’s stewardship, important strides have been made last year in improving the OSCE’s environmental footprint on energy-related activities. We appreciate your personal efforts for the adoption of the two Second Dimension decisions. These two decisions will provide additional ground cooperation on the issues of common concern that they cover.

The work last year also helped participating States and the OSCE structures and units to elaborate on other possible decisions and actions concerning the environmental footprints on energy issues with direct impact on security.

Just as with the Ukrainian Chairmanship last year, we are convinced that your dedication coupled with the priorities of the Swiss Chairmanship, will produce important tangible results. We appreciate and support the theme of this year’s economic and environmental forum meeting cycle. The environment-focused theme is indeed relevant to the achievement of the security community goal set out in Astana.
I would like to underline once again that, we stand ready to support all efforts for recording progress in the second dimension issues on our agenda.

Mr. Chairperson,

I wish to underline once again our conviction that the human dimension agenda should not be approached selectively. As with the three dimensions themselves, all human dimension areas are also fundamentally and equally important. Setting up artificial hierarchies between human dimension topics can only be counterproductive. Fundamental freedoms and tolerance and non-discrimination, to give a prominent example, are actually two sides of the same coin and must therefore be given equal consideration and effort.

As regards the third dimension, we believe that the outline presented by Ambassador Kvile for the activities of the Human Dimension Committee, as well as the topics foreseen for this year’s human dimension events, are both comprehensive and balanced. They not only reflect the priorities of the Swiss Chairmanship in the human dimension, but also seem to accommodate the interests of most participating States.

In this context, we are pleased that the vital field of Tolerance and Non-Discrimination is adequately reflected in this year’s human dimension outline and events calendar. I have repeatedly drawn attention, here in the Permanent Council and during numerous other meetings, to the challenge posed by the alarming rise of racism, xenophobia, intolerance and discrimination in the OSCE region. The situation on the ground amply demonstrates the need to swiftly and effectively address this issue. Economic difficulties in a number of participating States exacerbate the negative perception of migrants, compounding such malignant currents as Islamophobia.

It is our hope and expectation that the positive trend which emerged last year in the human dimension through the valuable efforts of the Ukrainian Chairmanship will continue under the consecutive Swiss and Serbian Chairmanships. My delegation will certainly persist in doing its utmost to ensure that our efforts in the third dimension are ultimately crowned with success.

In concluding, we wish Ambassador Algayerova and Ambassador Kvile every success throughout the year in their work as Chairpersons of their respective Committees.

Thank you.