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Statement at the opening session of ASRC 2021

Delivered by Ambassador Anne-Kirsti Karlsen at the Permanent Council, Vienna, 31 August 2021.

Thank you Madame Chairperson,

Excellencies, ladies, and gentlemen,

Like others, we thank the Swedish Chairpersonship and the OSCE Secretariat for organising this year's Annual Security Review Conference. A special thank goes to the Swedish Chair and her team for their tireless efforts to conjure consensus on dates and agenda for the conference. We appreciated the introductory statements by Chair-in-Office Ann Linde and Secretary General Helga Schmid, providing us with an overview of the issues at hand as well as possible ways forward.

We appreciate this opportunity to again exchange views on European security, in what we believe is an important arena for the Organization for frank, open and inclusive dialogue.

In today’s fluid security environment, where we face both traditional and new kinds of threats, the OSCE’s concept of comprehensive security is more relevant than ever. The situation in Afghanistan underlines this and presents us yet again with new challenges.

We appreciate therefore that the ASRC builds on the efforts of both the Forum for Security Co-operation and the Security Committee and reviews the entire spectrum of security issues in the first dimension.

The unresolved conflicts in our region will remain a main priority for Norway and for the organisation. Arms control and confidence and security building measures are important to create a climate for peace building and conflict prevention. We need to find more ways to ensure such measures.

Traditional politico-military threats are not the only security challenges we face today. Rather, Europe is exposed to multiple security challenges that range from instability and armed conflict to deprivation of human rights, environmental challenges and to transnational threats as violent extremism and terrorism, organized crime, corruption and trafficking in arms, drugs and human beings.

These are all issues with prominence on the OSCE agenda.

Madame Chairperson,

The agenda before us is manifold. Multiple challenges demand multiple solutions. These solutions need to be inclusive, and there is a need to focus on women, peace and security in our work.

We look forward to stimulating and productive discussions over the coming days, and hopefully, exchange of constructive approaches to the challenges our region faces.

Thank you.