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Statement in response to the Head of the OSCE Centre in Ashgabat

Delivered by Ambassador Steffen Kongstad to the Permanent Council, Vienna, 4 June 2020.

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Madame Chair,

I join others in thanking Ambassador Drozd for her report to the Permanent Council.

One of the OSCE’s main added values, is the organisation’s presence in participating states. This contributes directly to capacity building. We note the good relations between the Centre in Ashgabat and the Turkmen authorities, which continues to produce results across a range of different sectors.

We welcome the closer ties with other OSCE field operations in Central Asia, also relating to the Border Management Staff College, and we would encourage a strengthening of these connections within respective mandates. We are especially pleased to see that the work on increasing capacity in the border security sector benefits from this cooperation.

We also commend the Centre’s attention paid to the Aral Sea Area as well as the inclusion of counterparts from Afghanistan in a broad range of activities. Acknowledging the benefits of a regional approach, where appropriate, only adds to the value of the Centre.

Norway recognises that the Centre assists the Turkmen authorities in implementing the 2015-2020 National Action Plan on gender equality. We also welcome the continued work to address the problems of domestic violence. The introduction of gender mainstreaming into all programmatic activities should, over time, improve the results across all areas where this is given due attention. We would, however, encourage the Centre to do more to include a gender perspective as a cross cutting aspect across all three dimensions in the report.

As this is the last time Ambassador Drozd will report to the Permanent Council in her current capacity, allow me to thank her for the excellent job she has done, and the good cooperation we have enjoyed. We wish her all the best in her future endeavours.

Thank you.

Statement in PDF