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

Delivered by Ambassador Anne-Kirsti Karlsen at the Permanent Council, Vienna, 17 June 2021.

Madame Chair,

I join others in congratulating Ambassador MacGregor on his new appointment and thank him for his first report to the Permanent Council in his new capacity.

Norway is a strong supporter of the OSCE field presences. Representation in participating states gives the organisation added value. It improves our ability to build capacity and conduct projects assisting states in fulfilling our shared commitments. The work depends on experienced and dedicated people, and we note the report’s acknowledgement of the important contribution of the national, local staff.

Turkmenistan is among the OSCE countries that can play a special role with regards to security and cooperation with Afghanistan. We value the Centre’s engagements with the host country and Afghanistan on border management and security, as well as other areas of cooperation. We appreciate the work done to strengthen border service capacities and are happy to have been able to support these extrabudgetary projects. They will not be less important when international forces leave Afghanistan.

We also welcome the Centre’s work in the third dimension, especially in promoting media freedom and enhancing the capacity of the Ombudsperson. Ensuring access to information, including regarding human rights, as well as improving the access to support when such rights are violated, can significantly contribute to the wellbeing of the people of Turkmenistan.

We appreciate the underlining of gender mainstreaming as a horizontal issue and its incorporation into all the Centre’s programmatic activities. We find the report quite informative with regards to activities conducted and would have liked to see more elaboration on the results and impact of these activities.

We have been informed about Turkmenistan’s offer to provide new premises to the program office, and the plans cost sharing for necessary renovation work. This is indeed welcome, and we hope that remaining issues can be solved.

I look forward to continuing the close dialogue with Ambassador MacGregor and his staff at the OSCE Centre.

Thank you