Statement in Response to the Chairs of the Three Committees

Delivered by Ambassador Anne-Kirsti Karlsen at the Permanent Council Vienna, 17 December 2020.


Mr. Chair,

I join others in thanking the chairs of the three committees for presenting their work this year.

So thank you, Ambassador Bush in the Security Committee, former ambassador, now deputy foreign minister Asadov and Ambassador Raunig in the Economic and Environmental Committee and Ambassador Ivo Šrámek in the Human Dimension Committee.

Norway values the work in the committees. The committees constitute arenas where the participating states can share views, experiences and best practices, and thus dig deeper into the substance of important issues. In a time where multilateral cooperation tends to suffer from polarisation and a lack of trust, the discussions in the committees should be more open, more constructive and thus give impetus to the organisation as a whole.

The chairs have managed to put their stamp on the work done in the committees while following the priorities of the Albanian OSCE chairmanship. Through well qualified presenters from all over our region we looked at issues relevant to our common, comprehensive security. At the Ministerial Council earlier this month, we saw the result. For the first time in several years, consensus was reached on texts in all three dimensions. Decisions and declarations confirmed that the participating states continue to see value in the OSCE. The committee chairs played an important role in this work, and for this, we thank them.

In order for the work in the committees to be fruitful also in the year to come, we should all be guided by the wish to look for common ground and base discussions on both respect and cooperation. I wish for us all to use the work in the committee to build explore the substance and the issues, even when they divide us.

I will be honoured to chair the Human Dimension committee next year. It is still early days, but we plan to get back with a programme for the work in this committee next year. I want to thank Sweden for the trust in giving Norway this task, and I will be looking forward to cooperation with you all within this format.

We will also encourage contact between the committees, to secure a comprehensive approach to security, as is the birthmark of this organisation.


Thank you