On the Ministerial Council Decision on Strengthening Good Governance and Promoting Connectivity | Interpretative Statement

United States nameplate in the Hofburg Congress Center's Neuer Saal, the location of many OSCE Permanent Council Meetings, Vienna, March 9, 2016. (USOSCE/Colin Peters)

In connection with the Ministerial Council Decision just adopted on Strengthening Good Governance and Promoting Connectivity, the United States would like to make the following interpretive statement under paragraph IV.1(A)6 of the OSCE Rules of Procedure.

The United States welcomes the adoption of this Decision. We would, however, like to express our disappointment that the Russian Federation would not accept more robust language on the importance of combatting human trafficking and ensuring that our supply chains – including for government procurement – are accountable and that our policies towards them prevent and combat human trafficking and labor exploitation.

OSCE participating States have committed themselves to combat human trafficking, and also asked the OSCE Secretary General to ensure that OSCE’s own procurement supply chains do not contribute to human trafficking or labor exploitation.

The United States looks forward to the Austrian Chairmanship addressing this as a priority issue throughout 2017.

Mr. Chairman, we ask that this statement be attached to the Decision we have just adopted and also included in the journal of the day.

Thank you.

As delivered by Ambassador Daniel B. Baer to the to the 2016 OSCE Ministerial Council, Hamburg, Germany