The United States welcomes the draft 2017 Unified Budget Proposal (UBP) and thanks the Secretary General and the fund managers for all their hard work.
The OSCE is, and will continue to be, a major contributor to regional security and stability. The organization is as necessary and relevant as it was in 1975 with the signing of the Helsinki Final Act and in 1990 with the signing of the Charter of Paris for a New Europe. Our collective commitments to the organization are just as real. Despite individual budget constraints and other challenges, the 57 participating States must continue to provide the OSCE with the resources it needs to carry out its mandate. We believe that the proposal presented today provides a reasonable basis for future budget discussions.
We strongly support the efforts of the OSCE’s independent Institutions – the Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights, the High Commissioner on National Minorities, and the Representative on Freedom of the Media – and will seek to ensure that these Institutions have robust budgets and sufficient resources to carry out their important mandates. Moreover, we urge participating States not to politicize the budgets for these Institutions.
We once again welcome the inclusion of the Border Management Staff College (BMSC) in this year’s UBP. As a long-term contributor to stability and security in Central Asia, the BMSC should be supported by all participating States. A reliable funding source will allow the BMSC to more efficiently plan ahead and be a stable platform for the cooperation and coordination that enhance border security throughout the region.
The OSCE field missions remain the face of the OSCE on the ground, where they contribute to regional integration, democratic reforms, good governance, and protecting human rights and fundamental freedoms. Participating states must provide them with the resources they need to support this important work.
Finally, while we recognize that the OSCE requires a solid foundation to achieve success, we encourage the Secretariat to fully implement cost-containment measures and to offset budget increases with efficiencies.
The United States looks forward to working with the Austrian Chairmanship as it takes the lead on budget negotiations for 2017. We stand ready to work constructively to reach consensus on a budget that supports the mandate of the OSCE to promote comprehensive security across the entire OSCE space.
Thank you, Mr. Chair.
As delivered by Kate Byrnes, Chargé d’Affaires, a.i., to the Permanent Council, Vienna