Interpretive statement under paragraph IV.1(A)6 of the Rules of procedure of the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe

As delivered by Minister Counsellor Knut-Are Okstad at the 30th Meeting of the OSCE Ministerial Council, Skopje, 1 December 2023.

I am speaking on behalf of the following countries Albania, Bosnia & Herzegovina, Canada, Georgia, Iceland, Lichtenstein, Moldova, Monaco, United Kingdom, Switzerland, Ukraine, and of my own country Norway.

in relation to the decision on the OSCE Chairmanship for 2024. In this context, we wish to make the following statement under paragraph IV.1(A)6 of the OSCE Rules of Procedure:

Our delegations endorse this decision and extend our gratitude to North Macedonia's Chairpersonship for their exceptional leadership in forging consensus on critical issues, thereby enhancing the OSCE's effectiveness.

We express our deep appreciation to Malta for agreeing to uphold the operational integrity of the OSCE by accepting the Chairmanship for 2024. This gesture demonstrates Malta's commitment and capability, and we pledge our full support to assist in their endeavors. We fully endorse Malta's nomination for the 2024 OSCE Chairmanship and look forward to a productive and cooperative relationship during their term.

We deeply regret that Russia and Belarus have impeded Estonia's candidacy for the 2024 OSCE Chairmanship. We believe that Estonia would have been a principled and reliable Chair for the OSCE. We thank Estonia for its willingness to lead the organization.

The consensus principle is in the DNA of the OSCE, serving as the bedrock upon which collaborative decisions are made. In our pursuit of collaborative decision making, we must remain vigilant against the misuse of the consensus principle for unilateral purposes which erodes the very foundation of our collective trust and cooperation.