Statement in response to the Report of the Head of Mission in Albania

Delivered by Ambassador Anne- Kirsti Karlsen at the Permanent Council Vienna, 7 July 2022.

Thank you,

I join others in once again welcoming Ambassador Vincenzo Del Monaco to the Permanent Council and thank him for his report.

We appreciate the Presence’ support to Albanian reform efforts in areas such as advancing democracy and governance, enhancing the rule of law and justice reform, combating crime and corruption, and ensuring inclusive representation in decision-making processes. In accord with the will of the host country, they will aid in further integration into euro-Atlantic structures. It is essential that Government reform programs continue without delay.

We applaud the Presence’ “whole of OSCE” approach and hope it will be successful in its efforts to increase cooperation with other parts of the OSCE structure, regional cooperation, and cooperation with local actors. We look forward to hearing about the outcomes of these efforts in future reporting.

Last year, in our reply to the report of Ambassador Del Monaco, we called for more result-oriented reporting and more descriptions of gender- mainstreaming in the activities of the Presence. We are pleased to now have received a report which to a larger extent explains the positive impacts of activities. Visibility of results is important to us as a participating State and a donor.  We also welcome the increased visibility of gender-related elements of the Presence’ activities in this report.

Mr. Chair,

Norway welcomes the election of Mr. Bajram Bagaj as the new President of Albania, taking up office later this month. We acknowledge Albania as a key regional and positive actor in Southeast Europe, and bilateral relations have never been stronger. We highly appreciate our strong cooperation in the Security Council, on several issues – from Women, Peace, and Security to the working methods of the Council. Of course, we also welcome Albania’s contribution to the OSCE.

We are very pleased to be able to increase our financial support to the OSCE Presence in Albania for the years 2022 and 2023, allowing the Mission more flexibility in the conduct of its activities.

We wish ambassador Del Monaco and his team all the best in the continued work to assist Albania in implementing its OSCE commitments. Norway will remain an active partner in support of Albania`s work on reforms, and a supporter of the OSCE Presence in Albania.

Thank you