Thank you, Mr. Chair,
I join others in welcoming Ambassador Rogov and Director Wolters back to the Permanent Council thank them for their reports.
We commend Ambassador Rogov for his efforts as head of the Programme Office and support him and his team’s approach to conduct activities across all three dimensions of security, and in line with the mandate, the host country’s priorities and with OSCE commitments. I would especially like to commend the work done in promoting gender equality, strengthening the rule of law, strengthening national and cross-border security, and in capacity building related to democratic institutions and electoral processes.
Norway is firm in its belief that the OSCE’s field operations are among the greatest assets this organization possesses. For them to function properly and according to intentions, they need to have good relations with the host country. Ambassador Rogov, we are pleased to hear that the relations with the host country’s leadership are good and have been strengthened, and that Kyrgyz authorities actively and continuously support the implementation of the Programme Office’s mandate.
As a main donor of extrabudgetary funds to the OSCE Academy in Bishkek, Norway is pleased to see that the Academy has been able to adapt to the multiple challenges the Academy has faced during the last year. We understand that the pressure on the Academy administration and its community at times has been extreme, among others due to the pandemic, developments in Afghanistan and travel bans in the region.
The upside Director Wolters, is that the Academy now excels at adapting, reorganizing its activities and devising new contingency plans. We thank you and your team for your outstanding agility.
By way of concluding, I would like to echo Amabassador Rogov and other colleagues around the table: The Academy indeed continues to be a flagship for our organisation, contributing not only to individual students and academia, but also to regional cooperation and integration. We applaud how the academy has developed and improved academic programmes. Like Director Wolters, we believe that increasing the Academy’s funding through the Unified budget, would provide more stability and security for the institution.