Norwegian statement on the Opening of the Canadian FSC Chairpersonship

As delivered by Ambassador Anne-Kirsti Karlsen at the Forum for Security Cooperation, Vienna, 13 September 2023.

Dear Jocelyn, Dear Colleagues

I will join others in welcoming ambassador Kinnear at the helm of the Forum for
Security Cooperation and congratulate Canada on their assumption of the
chairpersonship of the FSC. We would also like to thank Minister Blair for his
commitment and dear messages.

We compliment your priorities for the trimester. We fully agree in keeping the Russian aggression in Ukraine and the continued support by the Belarusian authorities, on the top of our agenda.

This will remain a priority as long as Russia continues its aggression against the Ukrainian people, disregarding International Humanitarian Law. Through the Russian Federations invasion of its sovereign neighbor the world has 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.

Madam Chair,

In addition to the devastating situation in Ukraine, we must continue to address other ongoing conflicts in the OSCE area. It is with great concern that we observe negative dynamics in several conflict regions. Our organization has numerous tools that can be used to prevent, manage, and solve conflicts. Disputes can and should be addressed without the use of force and with full respect of international law and the Helsinki principles. The FSC is one of the foras equipped to hold states to account for violations of their obligations.

Following the tradition of former FSC Chairpersonships 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 Mine Action, International Humanitarian Law, UNSCR 1325 Women, Peace and Security as well as information integrity in the military space.

We also look forward to the joint FSC/PC on Mental Health Impacts of War. This is
sadly a highly relevant topic specially in the context of the ongoing war in Ukraine and other long-lasting conflicts in the OSCE area. We strongly support focus on this topic and find it highly relevant for the work also in the FSC.

In the current circumstances, we fully understand that we cannot find consensus on the conduct of the Annual Discussion on the Implementation of the Code of Conduct on political-military aspects of security and the Annual Implementation Assessment Meeting planned earlier this year. We regret this and hope that we in a near future again will be able to hold these meetings.

Madam Chair,

To you and your team, we ensure our support and constructive cooperation throughout your chairpersonship period. We need a functioning FSC to address the severe threats to security we are facing.

We would also like to use this opportunity to welcome Cyprus to the FSC troika. We thank Bulgaria for a job well done last trimester and compliment them for their good leadership, despite unconstructive and unacceptable behavior by one participating state.

Let me once again reiterate my support for Ukrainian sovereignty and territorial
integrity within its internationally recognized borders, including its territorial waters. A peaceful solution must be based on Ukrainian terms: nothing about Ukraine, without Ukraine.

Being optimistic in today's situation is not easy, but we must never give up hope that people can improve, that the war must end, and that small and large countries can live together in peace.

Russia can end this war.

Thank you.