Head of the OSCE Centre in Ashgabat

Delivered by Ambassador Steffen Kongstad to the Permanent Council, Vienna, 13 June 2019


Mr. Chair,

I join other speakers in welcoming Ambassador Drozd back to the Permanent Council and thank her for the informative and useful report she has presented today.

Over the past two decades, the OSCE Centre in Ashgabat has supported Turkmenistan in implementing its OSCE commitments in all three dimensions of security. In marking the 20th anniversary of the establishment of the Centre, we are pleased to see the activity increasing, as well as continuing interest from the host country in strengthening its cooperation with the OSCE.

Norway supports the Centre’s continued focus on border security and transnational threats in the reporting period. We are pleased to see that the Centre in Ashgabat is engaged in the increased cooperation between the Central Asian states as well as with Afghanistan.

The efforts made to enhance cooperation with other OSCE structures in the region are also commendable. The Border Management Staff College in Dushanbe remains a key asset for fostering common security in the region while fully respecting our commitment to the human rights.

Ensuring an appropriate gender perspective is crucial for reaching our objectives across all activities. Norway attaches great importance to the efforts and determination of the Centre to improve gender mainstreaming in all programmatic areas. We also recognise and appreciate the support given to victims of domestic violence and the assistance provided to the host government to implement its National Action Plan on Gender Equality.

Freedom of the media remains a Norwegian priority and we commend the work of the Centre to support fostering an inclusive media environment. We see the conclusions from last year’s Central Asian Media Conference as a constructive contribution to this end, and that the OSCE Centre in Ashgabat should continue to support journalists and editors to implement its recommendations.

Thank you


Norway's statement to Head of Mission in Ashgabat.pdf