Statement by Ambassador Tacan İldem, Permanent Representative of Turkey, in Response to Ambassador Vaidotas Verba, OSCE Project Co-Ordinator in Ukraine, 1067th Meeting of the Permanent Council

Tacan İldem 10.09.2015
Thank you, Mr. Chairperson.

I join the previous speakers in welcoming Ambassador Verba, the OSCE Project Co-ordinator in Ukraine, to the Permanent Council. We thank him for the comprehensive report he has shared with us.

For the past one-and-a-half years the PCU has been operating in Ukraine where much has changed, and Ambassador Verba assumed his post last year in the midst of the most serious security crisis Europe has witnessed in the past decades. The PCU’s work has therefore taken on a new significance. In this context we note with satisfaction how the activities of the Project Co-ordinator in all three dimensions are in line with the requests and needs of the host country, and we appreciate the PCU’s efforts to maintain sound cooperation with the Ukrainian authorities.

We welcome the important project launched this year by the PCU with the aim of promoting national dialogue between the central government and regional stakeholders. We also appreciate the PCU’s ongoing contributions in such diverse areas as updating the National Strategy for Civil Society, improving governmental information and communication policies, combating human trafficking, advancing legal and human rights education, enhancing gender mainstreaming, improving the prevention of torture and ill-treatment, preventing money laundering and terrorism financing, addressing environmental threats, as well as developing electoral training capacities and voter awareness. In this context we commend the work of the PCU in maintaining dialogue with civil society partners while pursuing close cooperation with governmental bodies both at the national and the local level. We believe that, contingent on the initiatives and requests of the host country, the PCU can continue to contribute to the Ukrainian Government’s ongoing comprehensive reform efforts in long-term systemic priority areas such as democratization, good governance, the rule of law and human rights.

Mr. Chairperson,

Maintaining the success of our Organization’s multifaceted engagement with respect to the crisis in and around Ukraine requires close and effective coordination and cooperation among the different OSCE presences on the ground. This is an essential prerequisite if the Organization’s various activities in Ukraine are to have the intended impact. Within this framework we appreciate the cooperation between the Project Co-ordinator and the Special Monitoring Mission in Ukraine. It is also important that we continue to observe the distinction between the mandates of the PCU and the SMM. While the SMM remains the linchpin of the OSCE’s efforts towards de-escalating and defusing the ongoing crisis, the PCU should continue with its valuable work to help Ukraine in further strengthening its institutional capacity and ability to address the various challenges that it faces, in conformity with its OSCE commitments and with international standards.

In conclusion, we would like to thank Ambassador Verba and his able team and wish them every success in their future endeavors.

Thank you.