OSCE defends its role as forum for dialogue and conflict prevention

Nur-Sultan, Feb 19 (EFE).- OSCE Secretary General Helga Schmid on Friday defended the Organisation for Security and Cooperation in Europe’s role as a forum for dialogue, confidence-building and conflict prevention and resolution as the region faces fragility and challenges.

Schmid said from Vienna during a forum to mark the 2010 Astana Summit – the last one held to date – when heads of state and government “committed to the vision of a free, democratic, common and indivisible Euro-Atlantic and Eurasian security community stretching from Vancouver to Vladivostok, rooted in agreed principles, shared commitments and common goals.”

However, she said “the path towards realizing the Astana promise remains full of obstacles.”

“Geopolitics and unilateralist tendencies seem to be pushing us in the opposite direction. Unresolved long-standing conflicts in our midst show how fragile security continues to be in our region,” she said via video conference.

“But we should not lose faith. The OSCE is a unique forum for inclusive dialogue, for preventing and resolving conflicts, and for building confidence,” the German diplomat stressed.

The secretary general said the OSCE, an organisation with 57 participating states, is the best platform for countries “to move back to greater cooperation.”

“We will not succeed overnight and it will take many, often seemingly small steps, to rebuild confidence. But we cannot afford to relinquish our efforts if eventually we want to make comprehensive, co-operative, equal and indivisible security a reality for all of us,” Schmid said.

The former Kazakh foreign minister and the OSCE Chairperson-in-Office in 2010, Kanat Saudabayev, stressed the need for a new summit, as “new dividing lines” have emerged, trust between countries has diminished and new conflicts have erupted.

“Moreover, the world is in the midst of a very serious global crisis caused by the coronavirus pandemic, which has exposed the fragility and vulnerability of even the most powerful and developed countries, which have not been able to guarantee their own security,” he said.

For his part, Kazakh Foreign Minister Mujtar Tleuberdi spoke about Kazakhstan’s pro tempore chairmanship in 2010, and his country’s proposal to bring the OSCE and the Conference on Interaction and Confidence Building Measures in Asia, CICA, closer together.

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