We welcome Secretary General Buric to the Permanent Council and thank her for her presentation.
The Council of Europe and the OSCE tackle the challenges to democratic development from different vantage points and within somewhat different geographic boundaries. However, our objectives overlap when we seek to uphold democracy, human rights, and the rule of law in Europe. Norway sees the European Court of Human Rights is a powerful institution with normative influence throughout our region. This serves as a backdrop for the work of OSCE and its institutions. We urge all relevant states to adhere to the Court’s judgements and decisions.
Earlier this week, we heard reporting on the cooperation between the Council of Europe and the OSCE with regards to national minorities and the promotion of tolerance and non-discrimination. It would be interesting to hear more about the efforts from your side, on how to coordinate efforts and prevent overlap between the two organizations. We will of course continue to ask the same from OSCE structures and relevant special representatives.
Over years, the core principles on which the OSCE and the Council of Europe were built, have been challenged. In the past 14 months, we have seen a blatant disregard of them during the Russian aggression in Ukraine. The OSCE and the Council or Europe should ensure cooperation on activities in support of Ukraine, and within Ukraine. For instance, we would appreciate information on how both organizations contribute to investigation and documentation of war crimes and abuse of International Humanitarian Law and International Human Rights Law, and on how we coordinate with each other, and woth other actors.
We must all do everything we can to prevent backsliding on agreed and fundamental principles. Norway will remain true to its principles and uphold international law and OSCE and Council of Europe commitments. We look forward to the Council of Europe summit in Iceland in May and believe it will be important to emphasize core values of our cooperation.