Let me start by extending Norway’s sincere condolences to the people of Türkiye in light of the immense tragedy that has hit the country.
I join others in thanking the chairs of the three committees for presenting their priorities and work program for 2023. I know that you have taken on a demanding, but also rewarding task.
Norway highly values the work in the committees. The committees serve as forums for participating states to share views, and best practices, and thus dig deeper into the substance of common security challenges; across all three dimensions.
As stated by the committee chairs, this is not a time for business-as-usual. In the face of Russia’s unprovoked, unjustified, and brutal war of aggression, we must continue to address and alleviate the terrible consequences of Russia’s war.
Norway, therefore, strongly supports the flexible approach presented by the committee chairs. We value interaction between the OSCE and other international organizations, and continue to encourage a genuine multistakeholder approach, involving not only governmental representatives, but also academia, private sector, and civil society. We also find it important to ensure gender balance among speakers and to include the autonomous institutions and field missions.
The Security Committee makes a critical contribution to the work of the OSCE as a forum for discussing non-military security issues and the implementation of OSCE commitments related to transnational threats. We support working on the thematic priorities presented by Ambassador Stoian, namely the protection of critical infrastructure, cyber security, transnational organized crime, police-related activities, border security and management, and also cross dimensional issues, such as combating trafficking in human beings. Let me also seize the opportunity to thank ambassador Kinnear and her team for chairing the committee last year.
In the Economic and Environmental Committee, we welcome the chair’s emphasis on the promotion of good governance, food security, as well as on energy security and sustainability. We particularly support the focus on the security risks stemming from environmental degradation. Norway has long advocated for an increased focus on the link between security and the negative effects of human activity on the environment within the OSCE’s second dimension work. We believe that addressing these challenges is crucial to our efforts to tackle both existing and emerging security challenges.
I will of course follow the work of the Human Dimension Committee with special interest. We are grateful for the close dialogue with ambassador Callan and her team on the work programme. I commend the balanced plan of topics. I see great value in topics relevant for conflict areas, in particular the situation for children in conflict, the role of civil society and media freedom. We would encourage including the digital aspect in several topics. It is increasingly important to discuss how our commitments should be interpreted and implemented in light of the ever-accelerating digital development, and this seem to be a topic that engages most participating states.
Finally, we encourage all chairs to include the Women, Peace and Security agenda in the programme for 2023 in a targeted and cross-dimensional way.
The gender perspective and gender equality must be integrated in all our deliberations and actions. This is not only about the number of women participants, but also on how we target our activities at large. We must never overlook the utility of equality. It isnot only a normative issue about what is right: gender equality is an enabler for tolerance and non-discrimination and allows organizations and societies to function more effectively.
I wish ambassador Stoian, ambassador Raunig and ambassador Callan the best of luck and assure you of Norway’s active support.