Joint Statement in response to the President of the OSCE Court of Conciliation and Arbitration

As delivered at the 1471st Permanent Council, 2 May 2024

Thank you Madam Chair,
In response to the address by the President of the OSCE Court of Conciliation and Arbitration I would like to make this statement in my national capacity and also on behalf of the following OSCE participating States that are parties to the 1992 Convention on Conciliation and Arbitration: Albania, Austria, Bosnia-Hercegovina, Croatia, Cyprus, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Italy, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Moldova, Montenegro, North Macedonia, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Romania, San Marino, Slovenia, Sweden, Switzerland, Ukraine and my own country, Hungary.

At the outset, allow us to honour the memory of late Robert Badinter, a founding father of the Court and President from 1995 to 2013. His name will remain attached to his immense work for the universal abolition of the death penalty, for the defence of multilateralism, for the consolidation of international law, particularly humanitarian law, for the promotion of international criminal justice and, of course, for the peaceful resolution of disputes.

We welcome President Decaux of the OSCE Court of Conciliation and Arbitration back to the Permanent Council and thank him for his address.

In 2022 the Court marked the 30th anniversary of the signing of the Convention on Conciliation and Arbitration which established the Court through the Stockholm Convention. The anniversary took place during the extremely serious security situation within the OSCE area and beyond, caused by Russia’s illegal, unprovoked and unjustifiable war of aggression against Ukraine. Through its war of aggression, Russia – a permanent member of the United Nations Security Council – clearly violates the fundamental principles laid down in the Charter of the United Nations as well as the base of collective and comprehensive security that lie at the heart of our organisation.

We emphasise once again that any diplomatic solution to end Russia’s illegal war
of aggression must be based on full respect for the rules, principles and norms
of international law, including those enshrined in the UN Charter and the
founding documents of the OSCE including the Helsinki Final Act and the Charter
of Paris for a New Europe.

Madam Chair,

We welcome President Decaux’s statement on the Court’s activities, recalling in particular the possibilities offered by the Court to contribute to the settlement of disputes through peaceful and diplomatic means in a sustainable and effective manner, in accordance with international law and OSCE principles and commitments.

Although the Court’s services are yet to be requested, we believe that it could be a useful instrument at our disposal in the OSCE’s toolbox for preventive diplomacy. Its conciliation and arbitration mechanisms retain their full relevance and could undoubtedly provide long-term and durable solutions to various challenges.

While we welcome the fact that 34 OSCE participating States have acceded to or ratified the Stockholm Convention, at the same time we reiterate our belief that the signature and ratification by a greater number of States could further facilitate the full utilisation of this instrument. We therefore welcome the efforts made over the past year to increase awareness about the Court.

Against this background, the 30th anniversary seminar that took place in Stockholm in November 2022 was a particularly important milestone, as it highlighted the role that the court could play, and also gave an impetus for integrating the Court into existing OSCE conflict-prevention mechanisms. We have taken note with great interest of the publication, last March, of the proceedings of the seminar with the evocative title « The Stockholm convention in a Europe in crisis ». We encourage participating states to get acquainted with this document.

For our part, we will continue to steadily encourage any initiative to raise awareness of the Court’s value among OSCE participating States and to integrate it into OSCE activities.

In closing, we thank you once again for your address and wish you every success
in your work