Permanent Mission of the Czech Republic to the United Nations, OSCE and other International Organizations in Vienna

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The OSCE Summit, Astana, December 1 - 2, 2010

Statement of H. E. Mr. Karel Schwarzenberg, First Deputy Prime Minister and the Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Czech Republic.

Mr. President, Excellencies, Ladies and Gentlemen,
First, I would like to express my appreciation to the Kazakh hosts for their hospitality and work devoted to preparing this Summit.

We all have gathered here not only to commemorate the outstanding work of our predecessors accomplished thirty‐five years ago in Helsinki and twenty years ago in Paris. The main objective of this meeting, first in eleven years, is to give a consolidated sense of direction for the future of OSCE. We wish to see the OSCE play again an important role in Euroatlantic security as it did in three decades of the last century.

Lack of political will has prevented the Organization from fully exploiting its potential in the past years. Instead of working towards principled compromises we sometimes end up with compromised principles. It is fair to admit that within the OSCE we have not made progress where it is most desirable - in preventing new conflicts and resolving protracted ones. Solutions to conflicts in Georgia, Moldova/Transnestria and Nagorno Karbakh have been deadlocked for too long and cannot be simply papered over. They have to be outlined as a priority area
of work if the OSCE is to regain relevance and credibility. In case of Georgia full compliance with Ceasefire Agreements remains to be a basic precondition of progress. In this context the Action Plan should contain steps leading to restoration of a meaningful OSCE presence on the ground.

OSCE acquis in human dimension has become a landmark activity for the OSCE benefitting democratization and transformation processes all over Europe in the last twenty years. It, however, also needs to be strengthened. The simplest way is to respect and comply with agreed commitments and principles. In this sense the final document has to reaffirm that commitments undertaken vis‐a‐vis human rights, fundamental freedoms and rule of law can be a direct and legitimate matter of concern to all participating States. Yet, we should not only reaffirm but implement, too.

Mr. President (Chairman), Ladies and Gentlemen,
Looking ahead, we are confident that the current political environment - encouraged by the successful NATO Lisbon Summit and improved relations with Russia - could contribute, at least in some aspects, to resolving our differences. At the same time, we need to improve institutional capabilities of the Organization across the crisis‐management cycle, boost Confidence and Security Building Measures by modernization of the Vienna Document ´99, reaffirm the autonomy of OSCE institutions, support ODIHR in its important mandate and last, but not least, rationalize our political dialogue. Together with our EU partners we have made proposals to achieve substantive outcomes at this Summit. Action Plan should define the practical way to continue to restore trust and confidence among OSCE participating States. This is the only guarantee to ensure an old‐time relevance for the OSCE. We still have some time to finalize the Summit document. This Summit was labelled by some as
a launching Summit. In order to make this slogan be true, we have to deliver Action Plan with the Action and with the Plan. The Organization needs and deserves it.

In conclusion, I would like to wish every success to the incoming Lithuanian, Irish and Ukrainian Chairmanships. (1.12.2010)