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Peace at home, peace in the world

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Address by H.E. Ahmet Davutoğlu, Minister of Foreign Affairs of Republic of Turkey at the OSCE Ministerial Council Meeting, 1-2 December 2009, Athens

Mr. Chairman,

It is a pleasure to be here in Athens at the culmination of Greece’s Chairmanship of the OSCE.

Allow me this opportunity to thank Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs Mr. Papandreou, as well as his competent team of collaborators, for the responsibility they have shouldered on behalf of the participating States. I should be remiss were I not to convey in equal measure my gratitude to Mrs. Dora Bakoyannis who successfully chaired our Organization throughout the first half of the year.      

Greece has successfully built upon the solid foundation laid down by Finland last year through establishing a structured dialogue beginning with the informal Corfu Ministerial in June. We are pleased to note that, since then, the basic parameters of this dialogue have been defined through intense consultations to which Turkey has contributed. In Athens, we would like to consolidate this progress and to chart a course that will guide us safely to our destination. It is no coincidence that this dialogue has been initiated at the OSCE. The Organization remains unchallenged as the sole pan-European organization with an inclusive mandate on comprehensive security. A renewed commitment here in Athens to elevate and deepen our dialogue will enable all of us to explore how we may:

 - better implement our common commitments,

- more effectively address multidimensional and transnational challenges,

- further strengthen democracy and the rule of law and promote human rights and fundamental  freedoms,

- sharpen our crisis management, conflict prevention and conflict resolution tools and mechanisms, and

- consolidate the arms control and confidence and security building measures including through increasing their efficiency and relevance.

This new and upgraded dialogue must naturally reinforce existing OSCE processes and contribute to consolidating the Organization’s acquis, including the security regimes and mechanisms operating under its aegis, if it is to be truly deemed “Helsinki plus”.

We strongly encourage all participating States to seize this opportunity to revitalize our Organization in order to address the longstanding and urgent problems of European security.

We have received the draft European Security Agreement conveyed by President Medvedev to our President through diplomatic channels. We thank the Russian side for having committed to paper their long standing proposal in this regard. We shall study it carefully. The Corfu process provides both an opportunity and a platform for its collective examination.

 

Mr. Chairman,

The OSCE’s human dimension commitments based on universally recognized norms and principles are the bedrock upon which rest our democracies and the rule of law, hence peace and stability in our continent. Thus, any scaling down or subjective interpretation of our collective commitments can only come at a high cost.

Different perceptions about religion and culture invite the risk of divisions and even conflicts among and within our societies. The full implementation of our commitments on addressing all forms of intolerance and discrimination must be an indispensable and integral part of our collective efforts to promote human rights, fundamental freedoms and democracy. We are pleased that the issue of tolerance and non-discrimination are among the priorities set down by the incoming Chairman-in-Office.  We are confident that the observations and recommendations of the three Personal Representatives of the Chairman-in-Office will further guide us in identifying those areas where additional efforts are necessary.

I am pleased to note that the support of the international community to the UN initiative of Alliance of Civilizations, launched by Spain and Turkey, has been considerably broadened recently. The successful outcome of the Second Forum of this Initiative held in İstanbul last spring, demonstrated the political will and determination of more than hundred countries and organizations to promote mutual respect and understanding as well as dialogue among different cultures, while the OSCE still ponders its contribution to the process. The developments we have lived through over the past few days have once again shown the importance of religious freedoms and the necessity to abide by them thoroughly.

 

Mr. Chairman,

Participating States face transnational and multi-dimensional challenges to their security requiring collective and co-operative responses. Our Organization, with its broad membership, its thematic expertise and its concept of indivisible security, can make a real and lasting contribution to the development of such responses. We should continue to build upon the OSCE’s assets to address the threats of terrorism, organized crime and all forms of trafficking more effectively. Taking measures to protect our people, societies and states from these threats while respecting international law and human dimension commitments must continue to lie at the heart of our efforts. Transnational challenges to our security may also originate from adjacent regions. Therefore, we need to closely coordinate with our Partners for Cooperation, as well as other relevant security organizations while formulating our responses.     

The process of integration and globalization has also put the issue of migration high on our agenda. We need to develop more effective and multi-dimensional migration policies with the active participation of civil society and enhance our cooperation in this regard. In doing so, we must not forget that when we deal with migration we deal with human beings and with their inherent dignity.   

We all have important stakes in a sovereign, democratic, stable Afghanistan with a functioning statecraft. The OSCE’s engagement with Afghanistan has helped intensify the assistance of the international community to this country, and we commend the progress achieved in the implementation of the Madrid Ministerial remit.  Turkey has provided technical and financial support to several OSCE projects on Afghanistan. In consultation with our OSCE partners, we will continue to explore further ways to increase our multi-faceted engagement, including in areas such as police, fighting illegal drugs, border security and management. 

 

Mr. Chairman,

Unresolved conflicts in Azerbaijan, Georgia and Moldova continue to threaten the security and stability of our continent. While they have different roots, different historical and political backgrounds and therefore need to be addressed within their own parameters, however, the relevant international norms and principles applicable to all of them must be consistent. Respect for sovereignty and territorial integrity must constitute the bedrock of any settlement.  

In this vein let me reiterate the continued support of Turkey to the mediation efforts of the OSCE Minsk Group and its Co-Chairmen. We encourage both sides to build upon the existing momentum in order to achieving a breakthrough without further delay. Turkey is of the view that efforts aimed at the resolution of the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict and the creation of an environment of durable peace and stability in the region are mutually reinforcing and have a direct impact on one another. The two processes cannot be seen in isolation.

The war in Georgia in 2008 was a reminder that the so-called frozen conflicts are not so frozen after all. The damage which this war has inflicted upon the overall political climate and its negative impact on other areas of the OSCE’s work have yet to be remedied. A successful outcome of the Geneva talks would be a first step. The closure of the OSCE presence in Georgia is regrettable and we hope that Kazakhstan will continue the efforts of the Greek Chairmanship in order to re-establish a meaningful OSCE field operation in Georgia.

We are pleased to see a renewed political momentum in the resolution of the Transdnistrian conflict, generated by the resumption of the talks in “5 plus 2” format. This format remains the basic negotiating platform capable of addressing the interest and concerns of all the parties.

Mr. Chairman,

The arms control and confidence and security building measures are the OSCE’s unique and fundamental contribution to the security and stability of Europe. It is essential to preserve and implement these arrangements. Unfortunately, the CFE Treaty is at present suspended by one State Party. The continued suspension erodes and invalidates this landmark regime. The war in Georgia has demonstrated the necessity of maintaining strong international security mechanisms, in particular those designed to provide transparency and stability through a system of regional and sub-regional limitations on conventional armaments. We call upon all partners to redouble their efforts to restore the viability of the CFE regime and to avoid any further actions which would result in its erosion.

While we regret the present state of affairs regarding the CFE, we do not wish to see this carried over into other areas of work at the OSCE. The dialogue on European security offers the participating States the opportunity to review the OSCE toolbox, its mechanisms and arrangements with a view to enhancing their effectiveness and relevance. The mechanisms and arrangements dealt with by the Forum for Security Cooperation, including the Vienna Document, can not be excluded from such a review.

 

Mr. Chairman,   

Access to alternative sources of energy, diversification of energy supplies, routes and transportation have become  integral components in our efforts to consolidate the security and stability of our countries. Turkey values the OSCE’s role, as a platform for energy security dialogue, in strengthening regional and global cooperation on best practices, sharing and exchange of expertise, as well as fostering contacts between energy producers, consumers and transit countries. Our search for an enhanced role for the OSCE in the field of energy security needs to take into account the current mandate, expertise and the resources of our Organization.     

Mr. Chairman,

We look forward to working and closely cooperating with next year’s Chairman-in-Office, Kazakhstan. We are confident that the Kazakh Chairmanship, while ensuring continuity in the work of the Organization and preserving the integrity of the OSCE acquis, will leave a distinct Central Asian imprint on the OSCE. The outcome of the Athens Ministerial will hopefully result in a clear roadmap for Kazakhstan, in particular on how to carry further the dialogue on European security. With regard to a possible OSCE Summit in 2010, to be considered either on its own merits or within the context of the dialogue on European security, Turkey, as the host to the last OSCE Summit in 1999, extends its full support to Kazakhstan. We are ready to assist Kazakhstan in its organization and conduct of a Summit through sharing our experiences. We hope that we will have a successful Summit under the Kazakh Chairmanship.

Thank you.