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Statement in response to the Director of the Conflict Prevention Centre

Delivered by Ambassador Anne-Kirsti Karlsen at the Permanent Council, Vienna, 29 October 2020.

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Chair,

Ambassador Yrjöla,

Let me start by thanking you for your presentation - and by thanking you and your team for your efforts over the last year, and especially since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic. This has clearly been a very challenging year. The number of implemented projects and activities in light of this is truly impressive. In the future, however, we would encourage focus on impact rather than activities. 

CPC stands for the Conflict Prevention Centre. Conflict prevention is an area where the OSCE, in our view, has shown some of its real added value over the last few years. We welcome the different approaches to strengthening the OSCE conflict cycle toolbox, and to make it more inclusive. The role of the CPC as the OSCE-wide early warning focal point is also essential in this regard, and we do hope all field missions make good use of the resources created on conflict analysis and early warning skills.

Norway is a longtime supporter of the OSCE Academy in Bishkek and the Border Management Staff College in Dushanbe. We fully support the Director’s proposal to include them in the Unified Budget. They are too important to depend on varying access to EXB funding every year.

We welcome the CPCs effort to support the OSCE Executive Structures and the participating States in strengthening the security sector. Security Sector Governance and Reform is an area where the OSCE has a comparative advantage. Norway has supported the SSG/R-projects in the CPC and elsewhere with Extra Budgetary funds. Broadly speaking, a well-functioning security sector is required to secure social and economic development. Even more so when women take full and effective part in the sector.

Last year, my predecessor asked for more thorough reporting on CPCs approach to gender and gender mainstreaming, and on what works as well and what does not. Although the Director’s report has referred to activities on gender mainstreaming, I would encourage her to further deepen analysis on this issue.

Norway would welcome modernization and updating of the Vienna document. In the meantime, trust must be strengthened through continued and thorough implementation of all Confidence and Security Building Measures. The Structured Dialogue, the Forum for Security Cooperation and several other informal and formal bodies in the OSCE constitute arenas for continued dialogue with the aim to build trust, confidence and consensus among the participating states. A goal should be to revive conventional arms control, and to modernize the CSBMs to reflect the current politico-military and technological realities. 

The report today has shown how the CPC provides invaluable support to the Chair, to the Secretary General, to the different Executive Structures including field missions and to participating States. However, as described by the Director both here and in her presentation of the proposed budget for 2021, it is clear that the centre is strained. The number of conflicts in our region has increased, and the CPC budget is decreasing every year. The CPC, and the OSCE as such, can only be what we as participating States allow it to be. To function as intended, the CPC needs sufficient financial and human resources.

Thank you.