Statement on the Critical Challenges to the OSCE Functionality

As delivered by the Norwegian Minister of Foreign Affairs Anniken Huitfeldt at the Reinforced Special PC-meeting No. 1443. Vienna, 26 September 2023.

Mr. Chair, Dear Foreign Minister Osmani,

Thank you for convening this meeting at such a pivotal juncture in the existence of the OSCE.

I wish to reaffirm Norway’s commitment to this organization, the principles upon which it stands, and the work undertaken by its executive structures, including its institutions and field missions.

Our region is in the middle of a security crisis resulting from Russian aggression in Ukraine. Russia has contravened its obligations in both the UN Charter and the Helsinki Decalogue.

Our solidarity is with Ukraine. All states must respect each other's sovereignty and territorial integrity within internationally recognized borders.

Mr. Chair

The essence of the OSCE revolves around fostering peace and promoting cooperation in all three dimensions of security. We must adapt to ensure that the OSCE remains effective and true to its founding mission.

At the OSCE, the consensus principle - underscores our fundamental approach. Still, the dissent or reluctance of a few must not threaten the organization’s broader mission.



Let's reach consensus on the chairpersonship for 2024, a decision that should have been made a long time ago. The organization requires a solid and legitimate chair.  Norway is ready to consider any candidate true to the principles of this organization. Currently, Estonia is the only candidate for the 2024 chairpersonship, and they have our support. The candidacy is blocked by only one country, Russia. I think this participating state has a special responsibility in finding a solution that gives the OSCE the needed chair for 2024.

Secondly, we need a competent leadership, and this is essential for the OSCE’s executive structures.

The team consisting of the secretary general and three leaders of the institutions should be extended. Each of them has been executing the mandates of their positions commendably. Consequently, in the crisis OSCE is in now, we see no reason to initiate calls for their replacement.

Third, the organization needs a budget.

Our political differences should not interfere with the functioning of the organization. I urge all participating states to support the Chair’s budget proposal. We welcome the Secretariat's efforts to navigate through this impasse.

Mr. Chair,

Foreign Minister Osmani, a big thank you for taking responsibility for this organisation and for seeking consensus under difficult circumstances. I am impressed by your efforts and Norway is ready to support you in any way possible.

Thank you