As the world’s largest regional security organisation, the Organisation for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) is a cornerstone of the multilateral rules-based order and the European security architecture. The effective functioning of the OSCE is central to ensuring that our European continent develops into a pillar for peace, prosperity and justice for the rest of the world.
The European Union thanks the Albanian OSCE Chairmanship-in-Office for its efforts to reappoint the OSCE Secretary General and the heads of the three autonomous institutions: the Representative on Freedom of the Media; the Director of the Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights and the High Commissioner on National Minorities. The strong and flexible mandates of the OSCE Secretary General and the three autonomous institutions play a crucial role in supporting OSCE participating States in the implementation of the OSCE commitments.
While an overwhelming majority of OSCE participating States supported the proposal of the Chairmanship-in-Office, no consensus could be found on these reappointments. The decision of a limited number of participating States to oppose this proposal undermines the effectiveness of the Organisation and weakens the much-needed multilateral approach to security in Europe that the OSCE embodies. A fully functioning, proper and stable leadership is even more essential given the numerous current challenges in our shared continent, which the coronavirus pandemic has made even more urgent to resolve.
This year marks the 45th anniversary of the Conference on Security and Cooperation in Europe Helsinki Final Act, and the 30th anniversary of the Charter of Paris for a New Europe. Preserving the institutions and their strong mandates is the responsibility of all participating States. It is therefore essential that a consensus on the appointment of the OSCE leadership is reached without further delay. The European Union will continue to support the OSCE in its vital work.