FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
I would like to welcome the Chair-in-Office, Minister Bakoyannis, to the Security Council. Madam Minister, I would like to thank you for your overview of the priorities for the OSCE under Greece's leadership. As a member of the OSCE, the United States appreciates the creative and assertive role that you have taken upon assuming the chair of the OSCE.
The strength and effectiveness of the OSCE comes from its comprehensive definition of security that encompasses human, economic, military and political dimensions. In this regard, we acknowledge the full range of OSCE activities, including the important role played by the OSCE in promoting the peaceful resolution of conflicts in Southeastern Europe and the Caucasus.
We also acknowledge the important role the OSCE has played in building strong democratic institutions which form the backbone of security in the OSCE region. This work includes strengthening the rule of law, through border management projects, development of legislative transparency, assistance in the reform of criminal justice systems, and the provision of election related assistance.
The UN and the OSCE already enjoy fruitful cooperation in a number of areas. The United States welcomes opportunities to broaden UN-OSCE cooperation and dialogue.
The Chair-in-Office has described OSCE efforts in Central Asia, particularly with regard to border management projects. We believe that there may be opportunities to strengthen UN and OSCE efforts in this area.
Mr. President, we welcome OSCE’s work in Afghanistan. The Government of Afghanistan has requested OSCE technical assistance to fulfill unmet border security needs. We hope that the OSCE will be able to implement fully and expeditiously two critical border security projects planned for Afghanistan.
The Chair has noted OSCE work in elections in Afghanistan, and we might consider how the OSCE, in close consultation with UNAMA, could play a role in the upcoming presidential elections in that country.
UN-OSCE cooperation has been very effective when both organizations have missions in the field. The OSCE's efforts in Kosovo merit special mention. Kosovo continues to prosper since its declaration of independence last year. The OSCE, working with UN, has played a pivotal role in Kosovo's development, through capacity-building, elections assistance and support of minority communities. We hope that OSCE's important work in Kosovo will continue as Kosovo continues to strengthen its democratic institutions and as the European Union assumes a greater role.
In Georgia there is a need for close coordination and cooperation among all international organizations in order to promote security and stability there. Despite a diminished presence and persistent challenges in effectively carrying out its mandate, the OSCE mission is a crucial component to the establishment of a durable and lasting resolution to the conflict in Georgia.
In order to address properly key security and humanitarian concerns on the ground, the current OSCE presence in Georgia must, however, be bolstered with additional military monitors that are empowered to patrol and investigate incidents throughout Georgia, including the South Ossetia region. We strongly commend the efforts of the Chair-in-Office to find a compromise approach that would create a framework for the OSCE to continue its important work in Georgia.
Finally, we support the Co-Chairs of the Geneva discussions -the OSCE, the UN and the EU - in calling for another round of talks to discuss urgent security issues, including the non-use of force, in March or April. The security situation in Georgia remains unstable, so we must not delay.
Again, I would like to thank the Minister Bakoyannis for her efforts and offer her the full support of the United States.
This site is managed by U.S. Mission to the United Nations in New York City and the Bureau of Public Affairs in Washington, DC. External links to other Internet sites should not be construed as an endorsement of the views or privacy policies contained therein.