ASRC: Closing Statement

Annual Security Review Conference: Statement at the Closing Session

As prepared for delivery by Deputy Assistant Secretary Bruce I. Turner
Vienna, June 28, 2018

I want to thank the Italian Chairmanship for its hospitality during the ASRC. The discussions were illuminating even when they were at their most provocative. The dialogue that took place – on such a broad range of issues – testifies to the importance of this event and this Organization.

We take home four key messages from this meeting:

First, there is high concern among the members of this community regarding the acute security situation in Ukraine resulting from Russia’s ongoing aggression, and our deepening anxiety about the safety of the Special Monitoring Mission. We reiterate our call on Russia to honor its Minsk commitments, and to ensure safe, full, and unfettered access for the Mission throughout Ukraine.

Second, we are heartened by the vigorous exchange here on the protracted conflicts; this underscores the need for, and value of, greater OSCE attention and engagement.

Third, we welcome the universally shared determination to continue and deepen the Structured Dialogue on security issues.

And fourth, in this group we actually need more time, not less, for nations to express their security concerns. At heart, the Structured Dialogue and the ASRC are discussions among States. We would rather see a three-minute limit on keynote presentations than on the interventions of participating States.

This December, we will meet in Milan to recognize and advance the contributions this Organization has made to building security and stability in our OSCE community. I hope that by that time the SMM is no longer under fire in Ukraine, and that there are new opportunities for peace and prosperity in all of Europe’s regions of conflict and tension. To get there, we all need to be willing to fulfill existing commitments. We also need to do better: the Vienna Document is ripe for modernization – provided all parties come to the table and work together to address shared concerns. The need to rebuild military transparency and mutual confidence is acute. This is a clear lesson of the discussions here and in the Structured Dialogue. We need to act on it.

Thank you.