U.S. Welcomes Serbian Chairmanship in First Permanent Council Meeting, Presents Goals for 2015

PRESS RELEASE | January 15, 2015

The U.S. delegation warmly welcomed Serbian Foreign Minister Dačić to the inaugural Permanent Council meeting for the Serbian OSCE Chairmanship on January 16, 2015. Launched in the wake of the recent tragic terror attacks in Paris, the Serbian Chairmanship will focus on swift implementation of the declarations recently adopted in Basel, particularly in countering foreign fighters and kidnap for ransom. Protection of fundamental freedoms; addressing the crisis in and around Ukraine; fighting corruption; supporting further confidence building measures on cyber-security; and modernization of the Vienna Document will all continue to be goals for the United States throughout the Serbian Chairmanship.

U.S. Representative to the OSCE Ambassador Daniel Baer outlined the need for the OSCE to take a leading role in supporting and implementation of fundamental freedoms and tolerance commitments. “The recent terrorist attacks in Paris demonstrate the need for us to redouble efforts within the OSCE to protect fundamental freedoms, including the freedom of expression both online and offline, and the freedom of peaceful assembly through which people have expressed their outrage at the attacks. The attacks were also a reminder of the need to engage in new efforts to promote tolerance in 2015.  We must not respond to hate with more hate.”

The crisis in and around Ukraine will continue to be a serious challenge

The current crisis in and around Ukraine will also continue to be a serious challenge to the Chairmanship and the OSCE community. “While the challenges are immense, our common OSCE commitments are rock solid and the best formula for achieving sustainable comprehensive security in our region and in our time,” stated Ambassador Baer. The United States will look to the Chairmanship to support full implementation of the Minsk Protocol and Memorandum, to support the efforts of the Special Monitoring Mission in Ukraine, and to expand the mandate of the Border Observation Mission in Russia. “The best approach is not politically splitting the difference; it is systematic fidelity to principles.”

The United States also urged the Serbian Chairmanship to focus on confidence building measures in collective security, including addressing the urgent need to update the Vienna Document, further cyber-security cooperation and support the resolution of protracted conflicts in the OSCE region. Ambassador Baer commended the Serbian Chair for its continued work in the Brussels Dialogue process and urged Serbia and other participating States to take steps to include Kosovo in discussions about regional security, including at the OSCE.

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For further information please contact: Kathy Eagen, Public Affairs Counselor at the United States Mission to the OSCE