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30th OSCE Economic and Environmental Forum in Prague

The Economic and Environmental Forum of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) took place in Prague on 8 and 9 September 2022. The theme of the 30th anniversary was promoting comprehensive security in the OSCE area through sustainable economic recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Economic and Environmental Forum (EEF) was opened by Polish Minister of Foreign Affairs and OSCE Chairman-in-Office Zbigniew Rau, Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Czech Republic Jan Lipavský, and OSCE Secretary General Helga Maria Schmid.

The theme of war and its impact on the economic and environmental dimension of the OSCE permeated the entire Forum. Minister Lipavsky's speech was no exception, as he mentioned that the influence of the Russia’s war against Ukraine deeply affects activities of the entire Organization. Yaroslav Demchenkov, Ukraine’s Deputy Minister of Energy, also spoke about the damaging effects of the war in the opening speech he gave. According to Deputy Minister Demchenkov, there is no other alternative than to restore Ukraine in the spirit of sustainable development.

The Czech Republic, together with the OSCE Group of Friends on the Environment, of which it is a founding member, organized a side event entitled „Security Implications of Climate Change in South-Eastern Europe: Contributions to the region’s climate resilience by the OSCE as well as by Czechia”. Green diplomacy is one of the priorities of the Czech EU Presidency. Jan Dusík, Deputy Minister of the Environment of the Czech Republic, delivered opening remarks. Hana Volná from the Department of Development Cooperation and Humanitarian Aid of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Czech Republic shared experience of the Czech Republic with disaster risk reduction.