Response to Ambassador Jarbussynova, OSCE Project Coordinator in Ukraine

As delivered by Deputy Political Counselor Jennifer Bosworth
to the Permanent Council, Vienna
November 22, 2012

Thank you, Mr. Chairman.

The United States welcomes to the Permanent Council the Project Coordinator in Ukraine, Ambassador Madina Jarbussynova.  Madam Ambassador, we thank you for your comprehensive report and appreciate your leadership.

The range of projects your office has undertaken demonstrates that the Project Coordinator in Ukraine is a cost-effective and useful mechanism for advancing Ukraine’s implementation of OSCE commitments.  We commend your efforts to strengthen your partnership with the Government of Ukraine, as well as with donors, participating States, and other international organizations.  We encourage the Ukrainian Ministry of Foreign Affairs to approve projects promptly so that you can have the fullest opportunity to implement them in a timely manner.  We encourage the Government of Ukraine, as the incoming Chairmanship in Office of the OSCE, to work closely with your office and to lead by example in the implementation of commitments.

The Democratization and Good Governance Program of the Office of the Project Coordinator was especially relevant in the period leading up to and during the 2012 Parliamentary elections.  While we have observed that the recent parliamentary elections were “a step backwards” for Ukrainian democracy, we commend the coordination between the Project Office and Central Election Commission of Ukraine to produce a voter awareness campaign.  We congratulate the Project Office on the launch of the On-Line Training and Recruitment Toolkit for the Central Election Commission and hope that your efforts promote progress for the democratic process in future Ukrainian elections.

As you focus on additional priorities of your office, we note that fruitful areas for investment would include human rights education, including education on issues surrounding gender equity, and the development of a legal aid system for those unable to afford legal services.

We commend the Office’s continued efforts in the political-military area, including Ukraine’s historic decision to eliminate its nuclear weapons and outstanding efforts in nuclear non-proliferation and disarmament over the past 20 years.  In this regard, we strongly support Ukrainian efforts to rehabilitate areas contaminated by explosive remnants of war.  We maintain our strong support for the mélange project, an exemplary non-proliferation program that illustrates how the international community and Ukraine work together towards mutual non-proliferation goals.  Over the last two years, the United States has provided over 5 million dollars to remove over 3,400 tons of toxic mélange from Ukraine.  We are now pleased to announce that we will provide additional funding to the OSCE for the removal and elimination of the remaining mélange in Ukraine.  We applaud the assistance provided by the OSCE to strengthen Ukraine’s border security system to help ensure that Ukraine can protect against the proliferation of material and know-how that could support a program of proliferation concern.  The United States is pleased to provide financial, technical, and training support to Ukraine’s border guard service through the Department of State Export Control and Related Border Security (EXBS) program.

As all are aware, next year will be an important year for Ukraine as it undertakes the responsibilities of the Chairmanship in Office.  We encourage the government of Ukraine to use the expertise of the Office of the OSCE Project Coordinator to its fullest extent across all three dimensions.  Your cross-dimensional project to support civil society engagement with the Chairmanship, for example, has great potential.  We encourage the Government of Ukraine to approve this project.

Good luck in the year to come.

Thank you, Mr. Chairman.