Thank you Chair,
It is a pleasure to again welcome Ambassador Yrjölä to the Permanent Council. Let me start by thanking her for a comprehensive presentation on the activities of the Conflict Prevention Centre. I also want to praise her and her team for the efforts over the past year, in the face of complex and continuing crises and an ever evolving and confining covid-19 pandemic.
We treasure the CPC’s support to the field operations. The CPC’s policy advice and support on project and programme management, including monitoring and evaluation, aid the field operations to make the most of their limited resources. This, in return, enhances their ability to support host countries in fulfilling their OSCE commitments.
The crisis management support provided to all OSCE field operations has been critical for them to continue implementing their mandates.
The report presented today is a good display of the extent to which the CPC provides support to the Chair, to the Secretary General, to the different Executive Structures including field operations, and to participating States. However, once again we are reminded of the strain the CPC is working under – both when it comes to financial and human resources. We must keep in mind, dear colleagues, that the budget of the CPC is decreasing every year, while the intensity of the conflicts in our region are not. As the report underscores, the CPC cannot do more with less. To carry out its mandate effectively and efficiently, the CPC needs to be sufficiently funded and sufficiently staffed.
We welcome the different approaches to strengthen the OSCE conflict cycle toolbox, and to make it more inclusive. Conflict prevention is an area where the OSCE has shown some of its real added value over the last few years. The role of the CPC as the OSCE-wide early warning focal point is essential in this regard, and we do hope all field operations make good use of the resources created on conflict analysis and early warning skills. This is a resource that could and should be further developed.
Security Sector Governance and Reform is an integral part of the OSCE’s comprehensive approach to security. It is an area where the OSCE has a comparative advantage. We note with appreciation how the CPC has continued its efforts to develop a more coherent and coordinated approach to SSG/R. 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. Norway is proud to support SSG/R-projects in the CPC and elsewhere with Extra Budgetary funds.
We consider the OSCE Academy in Bishkek and the Border Management Staff College in Dushanbe to be remarkable examples of how the OSCE can contribute in a practical and meaningful way. Norway has supported both institutions financially for many years. We do agree, however, with Ambassador Yrjölä that these significant educational endeavors should be financially secured through increased funding from the Unified Budget. It is indeed an irony that two such flagship initiatives of the OSCE are primarily funded by voluntary contributions.
The CPC and director Yrjöla can rest assured about continued Norwegian support for their work.