We are marking today, jointly with all the delegations present in the room and on zoom, a historical milestone in our work here in Vienna, the 1000th meeting of the Forum for Security Cooperation.
This is quite a journey, we have come a long way since the 90’s. At the time, we built on the wave of optimism and forward-looking momentum; nowadays, we face heightened international tensions. Against this background, today we have an opportunity for a sober self-reflection.
The FSC was created almost 30 years ago with a clear mandate in the politicomilitary dimension of the OSCE to discuss the security needs and concerns of all participating States, to increase military transparency and predictability and to build mutual trust.
How much have we achieved since then? We observe an ongoing erosion of arms control and confidence and security building measures as well as conflicts and tensions amongst pS. Certainly, a lot of work remains to be done and yet, in our view, the glass is half-full, not half-empty.
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In the 1990s and early 2000s we witnessed a spirit of pragmatism and optimism as well as the willingness of working together to achieving the goal of co-operative security in Europe. This resulted in significant progress in the politico-military dimension. Many important documents that still serve us as important pillars of our common security today, were put together in those days, for example the Vienna Document, the Code of Conduct and the Lisbon Framework for Arms Control to name a few.
Although this spirit of mutual understanding and constructive cooperation has subsided with time and needs definitely to be revived, the FSC remains the core body in the politico-military dimension and has a distinct and important place within the OSCE architecture. Its acquis, rooted in our norms and values we collectively committed to, should provide a solid ground for further work and cooperation.
Even if our discussions do not always lead to tangible results, a frank politico-military dialogue is necessary. We have seen many heated debates in this forum, but in the end, our common goal needs to be the prevention of future conflicts and the enhancement of our Conventional Arms Control and CSBM acquis and the OSCE Security Architecture. Engagement by all lays the seeds of mutual understanding amongst all pS which in turn is a key element for peace and stability within the OSCE area.
We reaffirm our will to continue on the path of diplomacy and dialogue, even if it quite often seems like a Sisyphus work. Military transparency and confidence building is of particular importance these days. In this context and others, we should all make the best use of the platform which the FSC represents to work towards stability and peace. It is in our common interest to do so.
The Candidate Countries the REPUBLIC of NORTH MACEDONIA*,
MONTENEGRO*, SERBIA* and ALBANIA*, the Country of the Stabilisation and Association Process and Potential Candidate BOSNIA and HERZEGOVINA, and the EFTA countries ICELAND, LIECHTENSTEIN and NORWAY, members of the European Economic Area, as well as UKRAINE, the REPUBLIC OF MOLDOVA, GEORGIA, ANDORRA and SAN MARINO align themselves with this statement.
* The Republic of North Macedonia, Montenegro, Serbia and Albania continue to be part of the Stabilisation and Association Process.