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Statement in response to the Head of the OSCE Programme Office in Dushanbe

Delivered by Ambassador Steffen Kongstad at the Permanent CouncilVienna, 21 May 2020

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I join others in thanking Ambassador Chiveri for his report to the Permanent Council.

Norway continues to be a strong supporter of OSCE field missions. A presence on the ground increases our organisation’s ability to provide capacity building in accordance with OSCE principles and the priorities of the host countries.

We thank the Programme Office for the continued work to combat domestic violence. In a pandemic, the vulnerable experience increased risks. This makes, for instance, the work of the Women’s Resource Centres (WRC) even more important than before. Norway has been a staunch supporter of the centres since their establishment, and we aim to continue this support.

We appreciate the attention to gender in the reporting on the 3rd dimension. Capacity building to promote the National Action Plan on Combatting Trafficking in Human Beings is another example of work that benefit the vulnerable. We would also like to see a focus on gender-disaggregated effects as an integrated component to the Programme Office’s reporting in general. In addition to gender equality being a goal in itself, it increases the effect of the programmatic activities.

Water is a transboundary resource, and as such, a source for both challenges and opportunities for cooperation in the region. It is positive that the Programme Office continues its support to the Government water sector programme, a high priority for the host country.

The Border Management Staff College is one of the OSCE flagships and Norway is a longstanding partner. It is of great importance to the region and beyond. We would in particular commend the BMSC’s understanding of gender mainstreaming in its activities and the need to strengthen the role of women in the male dominated border security sector.