Norwegian statement on the Opening of the Bulgarian FSC Chairpersonship

As delivered by Ambassador Anne-Kirsti Karlsen at the Forum for Security Cooperation, Vienna, 26 April 2023

Mrs. Chairperson, Dear Colleagues

I will join others in welcoming ambassador Emilia Kraleva at the helm of the Forum for Security Cooperation and congratulate Bulgaria at their assumption of the chairpersonship of the FSC.

We compliment your priorities for the trimester. We fully agree in keeping the Russian aggression in Ukraine on the top of our agenda.

This will remain a priority as long as Russia continues its aggression against the Ukrainian people, disregarding international law, including International Humanitarian Law. Through the Russian Federations invasion of its sovereign neighbor the world has once again been reminded of the disproportionate impact war has on children, on women and on the civil society as a whole. Ukraine has the full right to self-defense, and we have the right to support them in this self-defense. We will continue to do so.

I once again reiterate our call on Russia to respect its international obligations and commitments, and to withdraw all troops from Ukraine.

Russia can end this war!  

Mrs. Chair,

In addition to the devastating situation in Ukraine, we must continue the efforts regarding other ongoing conflicts in the OSCE area, as well as thematic issues. Following the tradition of former FSC Chairpersonships that gave attention to regional topics, and with the firm belief that the war in Ukraine also should be included in the discussions, we support your focus on areas such as the Security situation in the Black Sea Region, Humanitarian Mine Action and UNSCR 1325 Women, Peace and Security.

We also look forward to the joint FSC/PC on Security and Environment. Building on previous chairpersonships of the Forum, this brings all 3 OSCE dimensions closer together with the FSC by organising security dialogues and side events on cross-dimensional topics. We strongly support this approach.

The two scheduled events this trimester; the Annual Discussion on the Implementation of the Code of Conduct on political-military aspects of security and the Annual Security Review Conference are important for the work of the FSC. We sincerely hope we will be able to conduct these events and we still have hopes for finding a solution around the conduct of the Annual Implementation Assessment Meeting foreseen in the Vienna Document. 

Mrs. Chair,

To you and your team, we ensure our support and constructive cooperation throughout your entire chairpersonship period. We need a functioning FSC to point out Russia’s unprovoked, illegal, and unjustified full-scale war of aggression against Ukraine.

We would like to use this opportunity to welcome Canada to the FSC troika. We also thank Bosnia and Herzegovina for a job well done last trimester and compliment them for an interesting program and good leadership, despite unconstructive and unacceptable behavior by one participating state.

In a time of conflict and segregation, it is important to remember that the OSCE as a whole, works for the OSCE’s inhabitants as a whole, - to use the slogan of North Macedonia: “it`s about people!”.


Thank you!