OSCE Conflict Prevention Centre: UK statement

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OSCE

Thank you Mr Chair. I’d like to thank Ambassador Yrjölä for her comprehensive and timely report on the activities of the Conflict Prevention Centre (CPC).

I think we can all agree that 2020 has posed immense challenges for the entire OSCE community.

We share your concerns, Ambassador Yrjölä about the impact of the recent military escalation in the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict. We are grateful for the assistance that you have provided Ambassador Kasprzyk and his team in preparing for possible humanitarian engagement.

The COVID-19 pandemic has created profound challenges for us all. We appreciate the contingency planning support and advice your working group has provided to field operations. Such contingency planning will continue to be vital as the OSCE region faces the implications of a second wave of the pandemic over the winter. We encourage you to continue your close cooperation with field operations, supporting them to adapt to the evolving situation.

We are particularly grateful for the support you have provided to the Special Monitoring Mission in this regard, helping them to strike the right balance between duty of care and mandate implementation. The Special Monitoring Mission fulfils a vital role, providing impartial, facts-based reporting to the international community about the security situation on the ground and CPC support on reporting, dialogue facilitation, internal early warning, technological monitoring and information management, and on further improving the alignment of management, operations and security, is invaluable.

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We appreciate too your support to Ambassador Grau and the coordinators of the Trilateral Contact Group Working Groups in their pursuit of a peaceful resolution of the conflict in full respect of Ukraine’s sovereignty and territorial integrity within its internationally recognised borders.

We also value the support you provide to OSCE field operations elsewhere in our region. Your continued advice and support on project and programme management, including monitoring and evaluation, should help colleagues in these missions make even better use of their resources to support host countries to fulfil their OSCE commitments.

This month we mark the 20th anniversary of UNSCR 1325 on Women Peace and Security. Mainstreaming a gender perspective into OSCE activities is another vital way to enhance their effectiveness. It means we have a greater understanding of how issues affect men and women differently and therefore can better tailor our responses to them. We welcome the toolkit on Inclusion of Women and Effective Peace Processes, which contains actionable proposals on how to advance women’s meaningful inclusion in peace processes that the OSCE is facilitating or co-facilitating. It is great to hear how the CPC has built on this – supporting the OSCE Mission to Moldova in integrating a gender perspective into its work on the Transnistrian settlement process and the work of the Geneva International Discussions Co-Chairs to develop an internal action plan on Women, Peace and Security.

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The CPC has again provided invaluable support to the FSC this year. We remain concerned that OSCE’s pol-mil acquis continues to be undermined by partial and non-compliance. We want to see these conventional arms control and CSBM agreements function to their full potential, to the benefit of all participating States, including through long-overdue Vienna document modernisation.

We continue to value the Structured Dialogue as an added value forum to discuss current and future challenges and risks to security in the OSCE area. All participating States should be prepared to engage in constructive dialogue on priority security challenges, even those they find uncomfortable to discuss. We do not rule out exploring further voluntary measures to improve transparency, but they cannot substitute for full and faithful implementation of participating States’ mandatory transparency commitments. And we would need to reach a broad consensus before implementation of any further voluntary measures.

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As we look forward to the 10th anniversary of MC Decision 3.11, I would like to finish with some reflections on the OSCE’s conflict cycle toolbox. The UK highly values the tools provided by the Conflict Prevention Centre on early warning, including through its work as the organisation wide focal point and the monitoring provided by its 24/7 Situation Centre, on early action, on conflict resolution and on conflict prevention. We support your plan to strengthen these tools further. However, we recognise that all this support and all these resources, can only be as effective as we, the participating States, allow them to be. We must all demonstrate the political will to use these resources and to fully implement the OSCE principles and commitments that underpin comprehensive security for all our citizens.

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