We thank the Polish OSCE Chairmanship and the Secretariat for organizing this year's Annual Security Review Conference.
It is a critical time for the security in our region. The Russian Federation, supported by Belarus, is waging a premeditated, unjustified and brutal war against another participating state. For four months running, Russian forces have shelled Ukrainian cities, killed Ukrainian civilians and looted villages. Russia started this war, and it is Russia’s responsibility to end it.
We need to remind ourselves that non-use of force, sovereignty, territorial integrity and protection of human rights and fundamental freedoms are at the core of our commitments. Noncompliance with these principles and commitments, may increase the need to seek security guarantees.
Circumstances compel us to look at how we live up to our commitments, strengthen implementation across all three dimensions, and address current challenges.
We would all profit from revitalizing confidence and security building measures, leading to risk reduction, transparency and better communication, and conventional arms control. Norway stands ready to engage in this work, based on the commitments and principles enshrined in the Code of Conduct (for Political Military Aspects of Security).
The OSCE is the right place to address European Security and stability given the organization’s inclusive mandate and participation. It requires that all participating states engage in good faith to seek common solutions to common challenges. We must not let narrowly defined political interests block the work of an organization that can serve the interests of us all. Being innovative and using the Organization’s full potential is essential, but the necessary political will is required. We particularly call on the Russian Federation to muster that will.
The OSCE should continue to serve as a forum for co-operation between regional and sub-regional organizations, and other initiatives in the region. The organisation has the relevant tools at its disposal to support any conflict reducing efforts, not least by means of the valuable work done by its structures, field operations and institutions.
The OSCE is more needed in Ukraine than ever before. But not only there.
Looking ahead, continued focus by the OSCE in the Western Balkans is necessary for the stability, as well as the consolidation of democracy in the region.
Norway is deeply concerned about the situation in the occupied regions of South Ossetia and Abkhazia in Georgia and believes that the OSCE can play a greater role in assisting efforts towards peace and reconciliation. Efforts should be stepped up in the framework of the Geneva International Discussions. We also see the need for a continued OSCE role in finding a peaceful, negotiated resolution to the situation in Nagorno-Karabakh, and support the Minsk Group in this.
The OSCE has a pivotal role in finding a solution to the Transnistrian conflict, within and beyond the 5+2 talks.
Allow me to focus on what the OSCE has achieved. The OSCE plays a significant role to stability, peace, human rights and democracy for more than a billion people. For decades, all these efforts have contributed to a more peaceful and prosperous region. Therefore, we must fight the forces that are tearing down years of common efforts for a stable and secure Europe. Norway calls on all participating states to show the necessary political will, and to uphold our common principles and agreed obligations – not only in letter, but also in its spirit.