Closing Statement | 2016 EEDIM

OSCE Economic and Environmental Forum (USOSCE)

On behalf of the United States, I would like to thank you Ambassador Pohl, and the German Chairmanship, Dr. Yigitgüden, and the staff of the Office of the Coordinator of OSCE Economic and Environmental Activities for organizing this year’s Economic and Environmental Dimension Implementation Meeting (EEDIM). We also thank our panelists and OSCE field officers for their participation, expertise, and important contributions to this meeting; we appreciate your efforts.

During this week’s EEDIM, we learned the importance of fighting corruption and promoting the rule of law; ensuring good governance in transport, trade facilitation, and the environment; achieving stronger energy cooperation; and promoting sustainable development. We also heard calls from many delegations for all of us as participating States to continue focusing on implementation of the important commitments we have made in the Second Dimension.

As we heard from Dr. Peter Budetti, a private attorney and recognized expert from the United States, implementation of OSCE commitments on whistleblowing can help participating States not only identify and prevent corruption, but also recover assets illegally gained through corruption. In the U.S. experience, over $70 billion has been recovered and returned to the U.S. Treasury under the U.S. False Claims Act. If any delegation is interested in learning more about the U.S. approach, we would be happy to provide additional details.

Mr. Chair, we welcome the interest from several delegations and the Secretariat in discussing the creation of a review panel to assess and report on implementation and progress on elements related to anti-corruption. We look forward to engaging on this and other opportunities to develop a more robust, integrated review of participating States’ implementation of OSCE commitments.

Shifting our focus toward Hamburg, the United States is pleased that the German Chairmanship will introduce this week a draft Ministerial Decision on good governance and connectivity. We continue to believe that broad support exists for this text, and we again commit to engaging constructively in the process.

Beyond Hamburg, we are encouraged by the incoming Austrian Chairmanship’s plan to continue focusing on good governance and connectivity, and maintaining the involvement of the business community. We also welcome the themes of greening the economy and building partnerships for security.

Finally, we would like to express our appreciation for this afternoon’s panel debate on the way forward for the OSCE’s Economic and Environmental dimension. We greatly value this type of frank, open discussion on how to improve our work and effectiveness in the Second Dimension, and fully develop what is often referred to as its “untapped potential.”

In closing, we again thank the German Chairmanship and the OSCE Coordinator for Economic and Environmental Activities for your dedication and commitment to organizing this annual EEDIM.

Thank you, Mr. Chairperson.

As delivered by Political Officer Darren Perdue at the 2016 Economic and Environmental Dimension Implementation Meeeting, Vienna