Statement of the Czech Republic at the Reinforced OSCE Permanent Council
19.11.2012 / 20:27
Head of Security Policy Department of the Czech MFA Mr. Viktor Dvořák delivered on behalf of the Czech Republic the statement at the Reinforced OSCE Permanent Council on November 16, 2012.
First, let me stress that the Czech Republic fully aligns itself with the statement delivered earlier on behalf of the European Union and let me add couple of points to this debate from national perspective.
Last years were not helpful for the image of the OSCE. In Astana in 2010, we failed to adopt Action Plan that would give us substantial agenda and concrete tasking. Last year in Vilnius we were unable to adopt any human dimension Ministerial Council decision due to the lack of political will of some participating States.
It is not necessary to remind what kind of signal we have delivered through such development only a year after we agreed in Astana that more must be done to ensure full respect for, and implementation of core principles and commitments that we have undertaken in all dimensions, “notably in the areas of human rights and fundamental freedoms.”
Having said that on the OSCE deliverables from last high-level meetings, we consider essential to adopt substantive human dimension decisions in Dublin this year to prevent further impasse. We therefore fully support CiO Draft Decision on Strengthening Media Freedom in the OSCE and Draft Decision on Strengthening Efforts to Combat Racism and Xenophobia.
Hand in hand with these CiO proposals there are the proposals for decision on the freedom of peaceful assembly and the freedom of association in the OSCE area as well as Declaration on fundamental freedoms in the digital age which Czech Republic fully supports and co-sponsored.
In all areas mentioned we see that further progress is needed. It would be very unhelpful for the OSCE and indeed for the pS and for their citizens if progress and improvement of commitments in freedoms mentioned is again and again held hostage by some other proposals not presented in good faith and only for tactical purposes.
As for other deliverables under discussion for Dublin – the Czech Republic fully supports Helsinki + 40 process. We hope that the driving force of the 40th anniversary will bring substantial outcomes in forthcoming years. Here I would like to underline that from our perspective the unique role of impartial and independent institutions must be reiterated in this document.
In the politico-military dimension we fully support the decision on the OSCE's Efforts to Address Transnational Threats that will crown for the timebeing our effort to improve OSCE capabilities in this regard.
Let me also commend the work of all three institutions – ODIHR, RFoM and HCNM, which we fully support. And I cannot resist to make a note referring to some developments throughout this year in this regard. - Eventhough the ODIHR is widely considered to be a standard-setter in election observation and democratization activities, it has continuously and unjustly been under attack by some participating States. As we stated last year in Vilnius, we cannot let the autonomy of ODIHR evaporate through more or less visible political pressure.
Mr. Chairman, when preparing my address, I checked what my predecessors said last years at meetings in this format. It is probably not difficult to guess what their speeches had in common. All of them have referred to protracted conflicts as one of the main factors that indisputably influence the ability of OSCE to gain progress in several fields (including those that may not be considered at first glance as interlinked) as well as they sometimes were the reason why we haven’t approved joint ministerial political declarations. Decades of stagnation (or sometimes even regress) in solution of protracted conflicts put legitimate question on the relevance and credibility of OSCE. Although recently some progress has been achieved in Transnistrian issue in the format of 5+2, generally we note lack of progress in other conflicts´ settlement. We hope that positive development in 5+2 will continue under Ukrainian Chairmanship. But let us be clear – political will of all sides to move forward is a condition to any progress and hopefully a key to unlock not only this one but also several other deadlocks.
let me conclude by saying that we have fully supported the Irish CiO throughout the year and will continue to do so in forthcoming weeks. We will also be optimistically looking forward to equally constructive approach of all delegations in the OSCE in the final stages of negotiations of Dublin deliverables. (16.11.2012)