Statement in response to the President of the OSCE Parliamentary Assembly

Delivered by Counsellor Marit H. Lillealtern at the Permanent Council, Vienna, 27 October 2022.

Mr. Chair,

On behalf of Canada, Iceland and my own country Norway, let me also welcome President Cederfelt back to the Permanent Council and thank her for her presentation. We appreciate the work of the OSCE Parliamentary Assembly. It plays an important role in bringing together parliamentarians from the Participating States, thus enhancing the political and popular legitimacy of the OSCE.

It is our belief that contacts between diplomats and parliamentarians increase understanding between these two parts of the OSCE ecosystem. Let me therefore thank the PA secretariat both here in Vienna and in Copenhagen for good cooperation during Norway’s almost two years as Chair of the Human Dimension Committee. Canadian colleagues, as Chair of the Security Committee, equally appreciate the good collaboration.

On behalf of ambassador Karlsen, let me also say that we were very pleased that President Cederfelt could participate in the panel of the plenary session on Rule of Law which the ambassador moderated during the Warsaw Human Dimension Conference.

Mr. Chair,

As the President rightly noted, the consensus principle is being abused by some Participating States. This sometimes prevents States from making full use of the OSCE conflict cycle toolbox. Parliamentarians can create understanding at home for the need for all Participating States to make use of available OSCE tools, and for the need to allow the same for neighboring States.

Further, if we are serious about the OSCE and value its contributions, the Unified Budget cannot be used as a bargaining tool to pursue narrowly defined national interests. An important task for the parliamentarians of the Assembly should be to develop the understanding of their national parliaments of the need for a robust budget for the OSCE to be able to fulfill its mandated tasks.

Thank you.