BRAMA, Jan 31, 2006, 1:00 am ET|
(published Feb. 14, 2006)
Address by H.E. Borys Tarasyuk, Minister for Foreign Affairs of Ukraine at the High Level Conference
on the occasion of the opening Belgian OSCE Chairmanship “The OSCE: Security through dialogue and cooperation”
(Brussels, 31 January 2006)
OSCE: FROM EUROPEAN SECURITY ARCHITECTURE TO PARTNERSHIP, STABILITY AND PROSPERITY
Borys Tarasyuk (File)
On behalf of Ukraine, I would like to welcome the first confident steps, taken by the Belgian OSCE Chairmanship at the very beginning of this year.
I believe, that at the very end of it, the international community will state the significant contribution of Belgium into the process of ensuring stability and prosperity across the region of the OSCE responsibility.
The 30 years’ period of the OSCE activity displayed the creation of a unique multilevel structure of security system in the Euro-Atlantic area.
At present, it is playing a remarkable role in maintenance stability on regional and on global levels.
This system is based on a number of principles that defined our cooperation within OSCE.
In particular, we are to mark out the Final Helsinki Act of 1975, which reaffirmed the necessity to respect territorial integrity, inviolability of frontiers and independence of European states.
Secondly, we all committed ourselves to the arms-race containment and to confidence expansion throughout the territory between Vancouver and Vladivostok.
And, thirdly, we are carrying on a three-directions’ dialogue – dedicated to the politico-military issues, humanitarian aspects, and the spheres of economy and ecology.
Thus, OSCE obtained a role of one of the key formats for the interaction, aimed at transforming the territory of the Organization’s responsibility into the area of democracy, stability, and prosperity.
Ukraine and her regional partners, being devoted to the OSCE principles, proclaimed the same goal with regard to the Black-Caspian Seas’ region and the eastern part of European continent in general, joining their efforts for promoting democracy and rule of law, strengthening regional and subregional security, as well as enhancing economic development.
Therefore, the aims, ideas, and standards of OSCE, as well as the ones of Council of Europe, the EU and NATO, are determinant for Ukrainian regional policy.
We believe that our efforts within its frameworks are an integral part of the wider cooperation, including the OSCE member-states interaction, directed at providing international security.
Hence, we are interested in more active presence of the Organization in our region.
Thereupon, we cannot but greet the OSCE priorities’ program for this year, presented by Belgian Chairmanship.
Particularly, we welcome the intentions to promote the rule of law; to strengthen the cooperation in economic dimension; to proceed with the Organization’s reform; to ensure adequate OSCE participation in the settlement of Kosovo status issue. At that, we are especially glad to see the plans to advance the so-called frozen conflicts resolution in our region among the Chairmanship priorities.
I represent a country, which belongs to the strongest supporters of the further strengthening of OSCE role and of involving other formats into cooperation with the Organization. That is why, we believe that Ukraine must take an active part in the process of implementation of all of 2006 OSCE priorities.
I suggest to examine each of the mentioned directions of the Organization’s special interest.
Promoting the rule of law
After the Orange revolution and subsequent changes in Ukrainian internal and foreign policy, this direction obtained a crucial meaning for Ukraine due to her commitments to promote and protect democratic values in the region.
Ensuring democracy in the region is purely unthinkable without the willingness of all the regional states to maintain the rule of law.
Its maintenance is unthinkable without institutionalized cooperation of the states and formats of the eastern part of European continent, as well as of other parts of the world.
Undoubtedly, one of the key roles in this sphere belongs to OSCE.
We are confident that the Organization’s activities, aimed at ensuring the rule of law, should include the backing of other regional initiatives, which came out with the same principles and, thus, with the cognate priorities.
One of the examples of such an initiative was demonstrated on 2 December 2005 in Kyiv, where 23 countries of Baltic-Black-Caspian Seas’ region and the Balkans established a Community of Democratic Choice.
The participants of this format proclaimed a clear intention to engage themselves into the following areas:
developing regional human rights and democracy monitoring mechanisms;
sharing experiences and identifying best practices in the region;
engaging regional and extra-regional assistance in democratic development and institution building;
identifying assistance methods including those that most effectively facilitate free and fair elections, help countries develop an independent judiciary and accountable government institutions, and strengthen political parties, the free press, civil society groups, and a democratic political culture.
These are only a few directions for future regional cooperation within the Community.
We believe that the great experience of OSCE will be of the vital importance for the states, which decided to interact within the Community of Democratic Choice for achievement of higher democratic standards, including strengthening the respect to the rule of law.
We intend to demonstrate the practical dimension of these commitments during the oncoming parliamentary elections in Ukraine.
The Government of Ukraine exerts all the efforts to ensure transparency of the electoral process and its compliance with international norms and standards.
In accordance with the 1990 OSCE Copenhagen document, we invited ODIHR to observe the elections process.
We consider the ODIHR observation methodology to be one of the most effective ones.
In this regard, Ukraine and her regional partners reckon on the further active cooperation with the Office in the sphere of improvement the regional states electoral processes and respective legislation.
Strengthening economic cooperation
The very end of 2005 and the first days of this year that were marked by the so-called “gas crisis”, associated with the dispute between Ukraine and Russia on gas supplies, demonstrated that economic prosperity of Europe vastly depends on the level of energy security.
This situation displayed the necessity of all-European cooperation in this sphere, aimed at finding way of lowering the energy dependence of the importing and transporting states by the means of building new pipelines and elaborating new transporting projects.
One of the key coordinating roles in establishing and developing such a cooperation belongs to OSCE.
In this regard, let me reaffirm Ukraine’s support to the Chairman-in-Office proposal to hold OSCE Conference on Energy Security.
The OSCE can address both economic and environmental aspects in a region that includes major consumers, as well as producers of energy resources.
More specifically, the Organisation may lay a special emphasis on the following issues:
Democracy, transparency and good governance within the context of ensuring the energy security;
Concepts, strategies, policies and measures that can be taken to raise energy security;
Foreseeing future risks and threats in specific energy supply regions;
The role of international organizations and international financial institutions in the sphere of energy security;
Linkages between energy transportation, transit and security,
Impacts of the energy sector on environment and security, including climate changes and water stress.
We believe, that OSCE ought to cooperate with the regional formats that are able to play an important role in this sphere.
We consider the Organization of GUAM to be one of potentially significant players in ensuring European energy security. This association of Georgia, Ukraine, Azerbaijan, and Moldova is excelled by remarkable transit capacities of its member-states.
We are confident that cooperation between the OSCE, the EU and GUAM will be of crucial benefit for European energy security and will ensure adequate economic relations in energy sphere.
As an active contributor of the international stability Ukraine is closely observing the situation in South-Eastern Europe and in Kosovo in particular. In order to make my own mind I paid a visit to Serbia and Montenegro and met with representatives of Serbian and Albanian communities.
From the very outset of the Kosovo crisis Ukraine made efforts with the aim to settle it by political means and was assisting the postconflict stabilization in the autonomous region. Ukraine is actively participating in the peacekeeping efforts of the international community in Kosovo.
Ukraine is advocating the negotiating process between Belgrade and Prishtina and the search for the mutually acceptable compromise settlement. Within this context, regarding the future status of Kosovo, Ukraine respects relevant decisions of the UN Security Council, including the Resolution 1244.
Ukraine warns against hasty steps which can destabilize the situation in the region of the Western Balkans and set dangerous precedents. We support such decision as to the Kosovo status that would strengthen security and stability of the region and of Europe as a whole.
In that sense Ukraine proceeds from the necessity of the final settlement of political, economic and security situation in Kosovo by creating conditions for the return of non-albanian population, guaranteeing the human rights and the rights of all ethnic groups of the region.
We believe that the OSCE, through its Mission, plays and will continue to play an essential role in establishing a democratic and multiethnic Kosovo.
Ukraine is ready for active cooperation with the Organization on this issue.
The role of the OSCE as an organization, which is assigned a priori to conflict prevention and resolving, cannot be overestimated.
Thus, including the issue of the frozen conflicts settlement in Black-Caspian Seas’ region into the list of Belgian Chairmanship priorities is more that natural.
The issue of these conflicts – in Nagorno-Karabakh region of Azerbaijan, Abkhaz and Tskhinvali regions of Georgia and in Transdnistrian region of Moldova - still belongs to the most urgent ones.
As the OSCE and UN members, we feel that it is our duty to find just and lasting solutions with respect for the territorial integrity, sovereignty, inviolability of international borders and in accordance with the UN Security Council resolutions as well as with the relevant OSCE decisions.
We believe that the Conflict Resolution Plan for South Ossetia proposed by M.Saakashvili the President of Georgia will give an impetus to finding a peaceful and durable settlement of this conflict. We are ready to support this dialog.
We are also encouraged by the positive signs in the Nagorno-Karabakh peace process in Azerbaijan and hope that forthcoming negotiations will contribute to its progress.
The Belgian Chairmanship as well as all OSCE participating States are able to make a sizeable contribution to this process, particularly by supporting the Plan for South Osetia and the activities of Co-chairs of the Minsk Group.
Undoubtedly, each of the conflicts – in Transniestria, South Osetia, Abkhazia, and Nagornyj-Karabakh – has its own history and peculiarities, hence, demanding a special approach.
At the same time, we believe that there is a good chance of their peaceful settlement by the means of creating a precedent of a state’s reintegration in accordance with Ukrainian initiatives for Transniestrian settlement, known as “Yushchenko’s plan”.
Its main principle implies arrangement of necessary conditions for democratization of this region of Moldova, and its return under the jurisdiction of Chisinau in compliance with the international law.
“Yushchenko’s plan” found unanimous support of international community, including European institutions and their member-states.
Developing democracy in Transniestria, which is, undoubtedly, not an easy task, will permit to form a civil society there and to establish its proper dialogue with Moldovan state, aimed at ensuring democratic and cultural rights of Transniestrian population as citizens of the Republic of Moldova.
The role of the OSCE, as a co-mediator in the Transdniestrian negotiation process, belongs to the most important ones.
The OSCE was among the first who supported Ukrainian initiatives regarding Transniestrian settlement. The Organization is doing its utmost to assist effective implementation of the Plan, which has already brought concrete results - the resumption of the negotiation process in the wider format, involving the EU and the US.
Therefore, we believe it is necessary for the OSCE to continue exploring possibilities for deploying at the beginning of this year an OSCE-led International Assessment Mission to scrutinize the situation and to work out recommendations concerning the conduct of free and democratic elections, in line with the Ukrainian Plan of the Transniestrian problem settlement.
Resuming my comments, I should admit that the priorities of Belgium OSCE Chairmanship imply a very hard work in multilateral format. The success on the mentioned directions will be possible only if the Organization’s members unite their efforts and elaborate common views on the topical problems.
We urge all the OSCE countries to cooperate, thus strengthening this institution, which is and will remain one of the key instruments of ensuring peace and friendship between the nations it unites.
We wish Belgian OSCE Chairmanship to accomplish all the tasks it put forward for this year.
For its part, Ukraine will be a devoted participant of our Organization’s activities.
Thank you for your attention!
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