Interpretive Statement on the Adoption of the Decision on the Agenda and Organizational Modalities of the 2013 ASRC

As delivered by Ambassador Ian Kelly
to the Permanent Council, Vienna
June 13, 2013

I would like to express our appreciation for your patient efforts to facilitate a compromise enabling participating States to reach a consensus on the agenda and organizational modalities of the 2013 Annual Security Review Conference.

Just seven weeks after we took the floor to offer an interpretive statement expressing our regret that consensus could not be reached for a detailed agenda for the High-Level Conference on Tolerance, we find ourselves again in the same regrettable position.  Despite your tireless and outstanding efforts, and the flexibility and efforts of many participating States around the table, we regret that a timely consensus decision could not be reached on a detailed agenda for this important annual conference.  Furthermore, we are disappointed that not all delegations could agree to language for the agenda that was accepted in the two previous years for this annual conference.  I would like to call to your attention that last year’s agenda notably invited delegations to address  “ongoing OSCE activities with regard to existing conflicts in the OSCE area.”  More broadly, we regret that language for this year’s event that would help focus speakers’ presentations and participating States’ interventions in areas including, but not limited to, protracted conflicts and the OSCE’s role in preventing and resolving conflicts; conventional arms control and confidence- and security-building measures; further contributions the OSCE could make to supporting Afghanistan; and the role of the ASRC in contributing to the Helsinki +40 process, could not be agreed.

While we have shown flexibility on this issue today in order to allow the important Annual Security Review Conference – the premiere event in the annual calendar of the Politico-Security Dimension – to move forward, this abbreviated agenda should not be viewed as a precedent for the agendas of future years.

I would like to request that this interpretative statement be attached to the journal of the day.

Thank you, Mr. Chairman.