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Statement of the Czech Republic at the Reinforced OSCE Permanent Council

(This article expired 01.02.2014.)

Head of Security Policy Department of the Czech MFA Mr. Daniel Koštoval delivered on behalf of the Czech Republic the statement at the Reinforced OSCE Permanent Council on November 11, 2011.

Mr. Chairman,

I would like to add a couple of points to the EU statement from our national point of view.

A year ago the high representatives of our countries in Astana approved a Commemorative Declaration in which we reconfirmed all commitments and promise ourselves to implement them fully and in good faith.

At the same time in Astana we were not able to approve an Action Plan through which we wanted to give OSCE more future oriented vision. However, lots of countries interpret the Action Plan as a nearly consensual document.

From this perspective we find it very sad and disturbing that current discussions on several draft ministerial decisions that are clearly based on “nearly approved” Action Plan seem not to be treated seriously and in constructive manner. And what is even more disturbing is that this approach is coming from the same countries that supported the Action Plan in its last version.

Mr. Chairman,

The EU defined its priorities already more than a year ago before the ministerial meeting in Almaty and sticks to them also today. The Czech Republic was satisfied to see that these priorities are being reflected in the last version of the Action Plan in Astana and happy when hearing our non-EU colleagues, that these elements of the Action Plan were acceptable for all.

That is why we fully support the approach of the Lithuanian Chairmanship to elaborate on the elements of the Action Plan that fell into the category of acceptable topics. Unfortunately, today we are much more far away from the concurrence than last December in Astana. In such circumstances we cannot but conclude that the vision of Action Plan being nearly finalised was and is only a wishful thinking. We would therefore like to use this opportunity and appeal on our colleagues to focus on constructive engagement in drafting of ministerial decisions that have been tabled by the Chairmanship.

We are asking ourselves whether there is any way out from the current impasse we face.

Let me recall one thing the Czech Republic is repeatedly stating during last several years. It is our persuasion that whatever potential OSCE has, it is the political will that counts. Lack of good political will has prevented the Organization from fully exploiting its potential in the past years. And, as my minister stated in Astana, “Instead of working towards principled compromises we sometimes end up with compromised principles.” Due to the lack of good political will we have not achieved progress where it is most desirable – in preventing new conflicts and resolving existing ones. They have to be outlined as a priority for our further work. In case of Georgia full compliance with Ceasefire Agreements remains to be a basic precondition for progress. Lack of good political will is destroying CFE regime.

We have full trust in the Lithuanian Chairmanship and in its ability to make our ministerial meeting a success. We will do whatever we can to help the Chairmanship in this regard and we encourage all of you to take the same approach.

(November 18, 2011)