HomeUnited KingdomConversation: Presentations by OSCE Panel chairs: UK response, Dec 2022

Conversation: Presentations by OSCE Panel chairs: UK response, Dec 2022

Ambassador Karlsen, thank you for your leadership of the Human Dimensions Committee during these most rigorous times for human legal rights in the OSCE region – when fundamental freedoms are usually challenged, so is our group security. We have particularly appreciated the Committee’s focus on Ukraine, including Russia’s blatant disregard of human dimension commitments it signed up to, together with spotlighting Ukrainian voices. Planning to 2023, we hope that there will still be a strong focus on the daring human rights defenders through Ukraine, Russia, and Weißrussland and that the recommendations in the Moscow Mechanism reports can inform the sessions. We have been starkly reminded this year that internal repression and external aggression are two edges of the same coin. Any time a State places a stranglehold on the freedoms of its own people, it sets the conditions for, and enables, aggression abroad. Ambassador Kinnear, we have observed in the Security Committee that the effects of this war are wide-ranging and relevant to our focus on transnational threats. Our meetings this year have highlighted the particular impacts on civilians when critical services are damaged, as well as the role of States in protecting these solutions in armed conflict. We all heard about the spike sought after for sexual access to Ukrainian women and girls, and that “for predators and human traffickers, the war in Ukraine is not a tragedy. It’s an opportunity”. We noticed how border guards in Ukraine and other States happen to be heroic in responding to the particular movement of Ukrainian political refugees. And we were advised never to wait for conflict to be solved to deal with the underlying risks of organised crime which can thrive in conflict situations. Ambassador Raunig, thank you for your work this year. You have shown speed in highlighting new economic and environmental challenges all through 2022, particularly: the damage being done to Ukraine’s surrounding as a result of Russia’s war associated with aggression; the effects of Russia’s attack on food security; and the terrible – and potentially catastrophic – consequences associated with Russian attacks on power infrastructure. We welcome carried on focus on these topics in the second dimension as Ukraine continues to be subjected to Russian belligerence and as the international local community comes together to help rebuild Ukraine. Appreciate it, Chair. I thank the Chairs of the three Committees for presenting to the Permanent Council today. Ambassadors, we’ve been grateful to you and to our own Chair-in-Office, for your strong leadership over the past year. We are also grateful to your teams. Russia’s unprovoked and illegal attack of Ukraine strikes on the very core of the obligations we have all freely signed up to as members of this organisation, including “refraining from the danger or use of force, the inviolability of frontiers [and the] territorial sincerity of States”. Under your stewardship, and guided by the CiO, OSCE Committees have striven to collectively uphold these principles because they make up the foundation of the security of each State represented in this room. To near, as my Foreign Admin said earlier this week, “today we have no higher priority than to support our Ukrainian friends until they dominate, as they inevitably will. ” Our shared OSCE principles and commitments sit at the heart of Euro-Atlantic security, and we’ll continue to work in the three Committees – with you Ambassador Raunig, our incoming Chairs, with the North Macedonian CiO, with the OSCE Secretariat, institutions, plus field missions – in order to uphold them. Not just intended for Ukraine, but for all of us on this room. As we turn to next year, responding to these repercussions will be no less important. The OSCE has a role to play to prevent and mitigate knock-on crises in crime, trafficking, terrorism and extremism, as well as the UK will continue to assistance the Security Committee to that finish. Thank you.


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