Statement in Response to the Director of the Conflict Prevention Centre

Delivered by Ambassador Steffen Kongstad at the Permanent Council, Vienna, 10 October 2019


Mr. Chair,

Like others, I wish to thank Peᚧko, for his latest, and presumably last, report to the Permanent Council as Director of the CPC. His report is comprehensive and covers many issues of high relevance.

The report mentions the Sustainable Development Goals in relation to activities of the OSCE structures. As discussed at the Secretary General’s “Security Day” event on 4 June this year, the OSCE should contribute more to the implementation of the SDGs. Participating States have committed themselves to implement the SDGs. The OSCE is one vehicle to this end, and we must use all the tools that we have.

The report refers in different places to work related to UNSCR 1325 on women, peace and security, and to initiatives for the inclusion of women in the activities carried out by the CPC and the field missions. This is both positive and important. We would like to see an even more thorough approach to gender and gender mainstreaming in future reporting. We need to learn more about what works as well as what does not.

Conflict resolution is extremely resource intensive, and success is always uncertain. That is why we must continue to direct our efforts to prevention. It is here that the OSCE can play an important part. The main tools are the activities undertaken by the autonomous institutions and the field operations at the country level. The CPC, and other parts of the secretariat, offer support to these activities. Like the CPC Director we welcome that the host countries have assumed more local ownership in recent years. We appreciate the CPC’s efforts to work closely with most countries to identify national priorities where OSCE can offer support and have added value.

We note with appreciation how the CPC has continued its efforts to develop a more coherent and co-ordinated approach to SSG/R. This is an area where the OSCE has comparative advantage. As pointed out in the report SSG/R form an integral part of the OSCEs comprehensive approach to security. Broadly speaking, a well-functioning security sector is required to secure social and economic development. Even more so when women take full and effective part in the sector. This is another area where a contribution to common security is also a contribution to the implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals, in particular goals 5 and 16.

We agree that the OSCE Academy in Bishkek and the Border Management Staff College in Dushanbe are remarkable examples of how the OSCE can contribute in a practical and meaningful way. Norway is happy to be a long-term supporter of both institutions.

Mr Chair,

The CPC Director paints a concerning picture of the current situation. We appreciate the frankness with which Ambassador Peško describes the realities of today. We share his concerns regarding polarisation, confrontation, and disrespect for international norms and OSCE commitments. We need the OSCE as an instrument for conflict prevention probably more than ever.

Unfortunately, the OSCE is not always the instrument we would wish it to be. While we will hold the secretariat accountable within its responsibility, we cannot blame the secretariat for the fundamental shortcomings of this organisation. That responsibility rests with the participating States. . The CPC, and the OSCE as such, is, and can only be, what the participating States allow it to be. To function as intended, the CPC needs the required financial and human resources. We do well to remember that in the ongoing budget discussions.

I wish to take this opportunity to thank Ambassador Peško for his efforts to manage and improve the CPC and the OSCE in face of many challenges. I also wish to express my We appreciate all the good cooperation towards common objectives that we have had over the years. Thank you.

Statement in Response to the Director of the Conflict Prevention Centre.pdf