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Session IV - Towards Reconciliation: a new vision for the OSCE?

François-Xavier de Donnea, 25 June 2012, Vienna Session IV - Towards Reconciliation: a new vision for the OSCE? Thank you, Chairman, I would like to start by thanking Secretary General Lamberto Zannier
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François-Xavier de Donnea, 25 June 2012, Vienna Session IV - Towards Reconciliation: a new vision for the OSCE? Thank you, Chairman, I would like to start by thanking Secretary General Lamberto Zannier for organizing this first edition of the OSCE Security Days. 1. Introduction. In the follow up of the armed conflict in Georgia in August 2008, a reflection on the future of the security in the Osce space has taken place, notably under the Greek Chairmanship of the OSCE. The so-called Corfu Process reinvigorated the hopes for broader reconciliation in the OSCE area, and contributed substantially to the outcome of the Astana Summit in December 2010 under the Kazakh Chairmanship, the adoption of the Declaration of Astana with a new strategic objective for the Osce, a future security community throughout our shared Osce area. Yet, the first OSCE Summit in a decade fell short of achieving a more substantial outcome, the adoption of an Action Plan to develop the future security community because of protracted conflicts. We need to pursue a full, frank, transparent and truthful dialogue to reduce existing, and prevent new, inter-state tensions and to address new threats and challenges Thanks to the V to V security dialogue under the Lithuanian Chairmanship, the Osce has been able to start the implementation of some measures contained in the draft Astana Action plan, notably with the Vilnius ministerial decision on the conflict cycle, but also with the establishment of a new Direction in the Osce Secretariat on the Transnational Threats, crucial tool to enhance the Osce contributions in this area, as well as with the reinforcement of the cooperation with the Asian and Mediterranean Partners for cooperation, and the broadening 1 of the cooperation with Afghanistan to the three dimensions. The concept of Helsinki +40 launched by the Irish Chairmanship, aiming at implementing all the measures contained in the Astana Action Plan by 2015, 40 years after the adoption of the Helsinki Final Act, could be a catalyst for further progress, if all the Participating states have the political will to do it. 2. Problems. Over the past decade the OSCE has been given more and more tasks, while at the same time its resources do not allow for such a diversity of activities. And what is worse it is being dried out financially; the Unified Budget has been steadily decreasing in real terms. We have to define further the Osce priorities. In addition, some field presences have been closed for political reasons while their mandate was far from completed. In some ways, the OSCE, instead of being a pro-active agent for crisis prevention and resolution, on which participating States can rely for assistance in case of security threats and political turmoil, it has been reactive, and often without tangible results. Even core business in the politico-military dimension, an area where confidence-building seemed to have become a welcome routine, is not progressing at the same pace as changes in the real world. The hopeful enthusiasm with which the Vienna Document was revised last year or should I say, rather, where some more symbolic steps were taken in order to start a revision of substance faces heavy challenges. While formally this is what we asked for in our Oslo Declaration in 2010, much more needs to be done. But this also reflects the fact that conventional arms are not perceived as threatening as in the past in the Osce space. 2 When we look at regional protracted conflicts, at least in some of them CSBMs seem to be a no-go area, which does not breathe the Helsinki and Paris spirit. 3. I hear that in discussions about the future of the OSCE, some speakers tend to describe an increased integration in the East (CIS, CSTO and Shanghai Cooperation Council) as a counter-balance to the process of European and trans-atlantic integration. Such a bipolar view on the OSCE region could impact negatively on the concept of one common security space as agreed in the Astana Summit. At the same time, it shows that this strategic objective is still more necessary, and that the Osce has a lot of work to do to reduce further the existing gaps. Concerning the intention of a major Participating state (Canada) to withdraw from the Osce, I would like to call it to reconsider it. Multilateralism is key today to face efficiently the economic and financial crisis, and the problems and challenges of today and tomorrow, more and more global and complex, can not be resolved anymore by one State or one organization. The Osce, with its comprehensive approach of security, and its exhaustive geographical membership, has a key role to play to promote a sustainable stability, incorporating a military stability, an economic stability, but also a social and a human stability in its region. The impact of this stability will go beyond its borders, and will benefit to all of us. There is a lot that the OSCE can do and on the basis of its experience do better than others, and in close cooperation with the other relevant international and regional organizations and actors. There is the evolving issue of Cyber Security. I am happy to hear that the PC has set up a working group that will deal with this increasingly 3 important topic and the worrying trends we witness on an almost daily basis. The Osce successful acquis of the past in the conventional arms control area, the Confidence Building Measures/Confidence Security Building Measures, could also be used fruitfully to face the new threats and challenges of today and tomorrow. You might be aware of the fact that I sponsored a resolution on this issue which became part of the Belgrade Annual Session Declaration. The reinforced and broadened Osce cooperation with Afghanistan deserves to be developed further, to contribute to an effective transition towards a transfer to the Afghan authorities of the full responsibility for security over the whole of the Afghan territory in I sponsored also a resolution on the development of the Osce cooperation with Afghanistan by 2014 and beyond which is on the agenda of our Monaco meeting in July. The resolution calls upon the Osce Participating states and the other Partners for cooperation to increase their contributions toward OSCE activities related to border security, civil policing training, and combating illegal forms of trafficking in Afghanistan. The resolution also calls for the Afghan government to ensure respect for human rights and to hold credible and inclusive elections. It encourages Afghan officials and civil society to be more involved in OSCE activities. 4. I would like to repeat now what we have been saying quite often, there is still a considerable amount of unfinished reform business: In 2005, in the recommendations from our Washington Colloquium which were endorsed by the Washington Annual Session, we said that the Secretary General, as well as and in consultation with the Chairman-in- Office, should be able to speak for the Organization and to make policy 4 pronouncements as well as appropriate criticisms when OSCE commitments are not observed. The OSCE should improve its ability to make timely decisions through adjusting its decision-making procedure. Our experts were very firm on this: Structural reform is needed to improve the functioning of the Organization. (Washington) The OSCE has made some initial timid steps in the right direction. We have seen the role of the Secretary General as a political actor somewhat strengthened, as we have suggested many times, for instance in our Palermo Recommendations, and we have a Secretary General, who is making full use of his mandate. However, many more structural changes, especially with regard to the working methods of the decision-making bodies, need to be made to turn what has become a bureaucratic structure into an effective instrument for creating a common space of security. There was also our recommendation to enhance the analytical capabilities of the Secretariat; and building permanent lessons learned capabilities by setting up a best Practices Unit. I hope that your work on the implementation of the Vilnius MC decision on elements of the conflict cycle will lead to developing a truly operational civilian rapid reaction capability, one that could be deployed in time of crisis to supplement the work of field missions, as recommended by us in Washington. These teams would provide the OSCE with the opportunity to react swiftly to an unfolding crisis, assess the situation and its needs, and make policy recommendations to the OSCE executive bodies for future action. These civilian experts could be recruited on an ad hoc basis. (Washington Colloquium) 5 Additionally, we would recommend exploring the way the OSCE deals with the issue of preconceived fact-finding and negotiating mandates (Oslo Annual Session Declaration). It was decided at the Vilnius Ministerial Council that it would help to involve representatives of the Parliamentary Assembly when addressing the conflict cycle. I am glad that the Secretariat has collected ideas for possible input from the OSCE Parliamentary Assembly in the developing of effective responses to emerging crises and conflicts. We are delighted that this exercise has become a testing ground for a very fruitful co-operation between the PA and the OSCE s executive structures, and I hope that participating States will be able to agree on a document that includes these ideas. Also, as we said in our Palermo recommendations, the PA should be directly invited by the OSCE to take more political initiative such as organizing fact finding missions and offering good offices to facilitate negotiations. These initiatives could be public or confidential and carried out alone or in co-operation with other parliamentary actors such as the European Parliament or the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe. Such initiatives would substantially increase the political credibility and visibility of the Organization. One of the best examples of good offices to facilitate negotiations is the Parliamentary Team on Moldova, of which I m a member. On the recent Team visit to Chisinau and Tiraspol, there was some discussion on the parliamentary dimension of the OSCE's conflict settlement process. I think it is time for us to look at the role parliamentarians could play in facilitating platforms to support conflict mediation. 6 To be clear, we leave the status negotiations to the governmental side and we fully support the 5+2 process and welcome the reopening of these talks under the Irish Chairmanship. What we would like to see is more contacts between legislators from both sides of the conflict - in this case - the Parliament of Moldova and the Transdniestrian Supreme Soviet. Our Team, lead by Ms. Walburga Habsburg Douglas, has proposed such initiatives to both sides in the conflict - and we hope that we will be able to facilitate contact through a meeting before the end of the year. Naturally, we do not recognize the Transdniestrian Supreme Soviet, and we have not observed the election process in the Transdniestrian region. However, we must acknowledge that contacts between politicians (not just the leaders and the chief negotiators) would be a useful platform for building confidence between the conflicting sides and supporting the ongoing 5+2 process. By engaging in such projects, we are able and hope to contribute. We are now in the process of preparing our 2012 annual session, and there are numerous topical security related issues on the agenda, including draft resolutions on Moldova, Georgia, developing co-operation with Afghanistan, the emerging democracies in the Arab world, Iran, cross border co-operation and countering violent extremism. We look forward to a good parliamentary debate on these topics and also to return with new ideas and input to offer the governmental structures of the OSCE. Thank you for your attention. 7
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