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Statement in response to the report of the acting head of the mission in Kosovo

Delivered by Ambassador Anne- Kirsti Karlsen at the Permanent Council, Vienna, 4 March 2021.

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Madame Chair,

Allow me to repeat our well-known position: the field operations are the clearest
example of the added value of the OSCE. This is also true for Kosovo. This OSCE Mission is a key international institution guided by the importance of establishing a viable multi-ethnic society where the rights of each citizen are fully and equally respected.

The Mission in Kosovo is indeed OSCE at its best. We appreciate the Mission’s continued efforts, since the last report to the Council, to adjust its work to the restrictions imposed by the COVID-19 Pandemic.

Kosovo recently held elections and has every reason to be proud of the way in which they were held. We expect the incoming Government to continue the EU-led dialogue with Serbia and to honor the engagements undertaken through the Brussels agreements.

We find The Mission in Kosovo a very active and visible mission and keep holding a strong position as defender of community rights, religious heritage, and undertaking concrete activities for democratic development and security sector reforms.

Throughout the year, the Mission carried out a large number of trial monitoring activities, and also several tolerance and dialogue initiatives directed towards a broad variety of target groups. The Mission upheld its focus on gender equality and gender mainstreaming, and the work against gender-based and domestic violence is especially appreciated.

We welcome the Mission’s ability to engage civil society, and the many projects involving capacity building and technical assistance to public safety institutions, such as supporting community safety through Local Public Safety Committees and building capacity to combat cybercrime in law enforcement institutions.

Through Mr Danè Koruga, Head of the Mission’s Media Section, the Human Dimension Committee, chaired by Norway, last month was introduced to the Mission’s important work on media literacy including in the education system. We would once again like to thank the Mission for that insight and the contribution to an interesting discussion on the topics of media freedom, access to information, and disinformation.

We encourage the Mission to continue efforts in this and other important areas, including the work to improve safety of journalists and against domestic violence.

Mdm. Chair,

We thank Mr. Wahl for his report, and particularly for setting the activities of the mission into a broader political context. As mentioned also with regards to the Mission in Montenegro’s report, further reflections on challenges the Mission meets in achieving its goals and implementing its mandate, would be useful to us as participating States.

Thank you