Statement in response to the Minister of Foreign Affairs of North Macedonia

Delivered by Ambassador Anne-Kirsti Karlsen at the Permanent Council, Vienna, 1 September 2022.

Mr. Chair,

We thank the Minister of Foreign Affairs of North Macedonia, His Excellency Mr. Bujar Osmani, for outlining the priorities for the Chairmanship in 2023. We are grateful to the Government of North Macedonia for assuming this position at this challenging time. Norway shares the goals and priorities presented to us this morning.

Foreign Minister Osmani mentions the term “solutions driven” multilateralism. Norway is a staunch supporter of the multilateral rules-based order. We strongly hope that the whole OSCE community will take indispensable actions to return to and enhance rules-based order in Europe. This includes considering the security concerns of all OSCE participating States and working towards a European security architecture that serves us all.

Mr. Chair,

The Russian ongoing aggression against Ukraine will have immense and long-term influence on the security situation in the Euro-Atlantic area and beyond.

Needless to say, we need to do everything in our power to restore peace in Ukraine and uphold the principles of the Helsinki Final Act and the Charter of Paris. Not least, the territorial integrity, sovereignty and inviolability of internationally recognized borders of participating States must be respected.

There is a need to prevent tensions from spilling over into violence and to address unresolved issues sooner rather than later. We agree that conflict prevention and management in the OSCE region must rest firmly on top of the agenda also for the next year. The OSCE possesses the necessary tools, but what is needed is the sufficient political will by all participating states.

Mr. Chair,

We welcome the priorities given for the three dimensions of security and the main objectives that will guide the 2023 Chairperson-in-Office.

It is important that we make full use of the available tools at hand in the politico-military dimension, especially the Vienna Document and the Code of Conduct. We would also like to see the Structured Dialogue to be continued. We encourage the Chairperson-in Office to work closely with the three Forum for Security (FSC) chairs in 2023. Furthermore, we see great value in focusing on border security, hybrid threats and cyber security challenges and organized crime in the first-dimension work.

Norway appreciates the stress you put on furthering the Women, Peace, and Security agenda. We subscribe to the fact that successful implementation of the overall security concept of the Organization is directly connected with the equal participation of women on all peace and security issues.

Regarding the second dimension, we welcome your intention to raise attention to the climate change and security nexus. This nexus has been a priority for Norway during our tenure in the Security Council and we believe it is an issue of great relevance for the OSCE and our common security.

Energy security and food security have rapidly elevated higher on the international agenda due to the Russian war against Ukraine. We need to find sustainable solutions and build resilience both to future energy crisis and food shortage in the whole OSCE region, as well as to the economic restraints caused by the pandemic.

Several reports over the last months, including those we have received through the Moscow mechanism, have documented the links between military conflict and human rights abuses. But much remains to be done in order to ensure implementation of OSCE commitments in the Human Dimension all over the OSCE region, and not only in states involved in conflicts. In fact, this organization has useful tools to help participating states in this regard, and we urge participating states to use them. We support efforts to strengthen the autonomous institutions.

Cooperation and discussions with civil society are helpful to address most issues properly and make sure that all parts of society are involved in finding the best ways forward. This is relevant not only to the third dimension. We appreciate Foreign Minister Osmani’s focus on the inclusion of youth, on gender mainstreaming, and empowerment of women. Media freedom is indeed an extremely important issue vital for our common security.

Mr. Chair,

It is the political responsibility of the Chairperson-in-Office to protect the Organization and its potential to promote stability and security in Europe. We agree with Foreign Minister Osmani that today’s global volatile landscape calls for adaptive approaches to security and other related challenges. Norway also agrees that the OSCE possesses the necessary tools and capacity to respond to such challenges. It is down to us as participating states to make this work. One thing we can do is at least to agree on the budgetary resources needed for this organization to work.

The role of the chair is particularly important in the present security situation in our region. We trust both the current and incoming Chairpersonships and will continue to be among your staunch supporters.

In closing, Mr. Chair, allow me to wish Foreign Minister Osmani and the chairpersonship team of North Macedonia the best of luck with further preparations.