Statement on the Presentation of the 2013 Unified Budget

As delivered by Ambassador Ian Kelly
to the Permanent Council, Vienna
October 11, 2012

The United States welcomes the presentation of the 2013 Unified Budget Proposal and thanks the Secretary General and all of the fund managers for their hard work on this proposal.

The United States considers the OSCE to be a major contributor to regional security and stability.  We are encouraged that the organization is taking a strategic approach to its work in all three dimensions across the entire OSCE region.

Mr. Secretary General, you have presented a strong basis for funding OSCE priorities in 2013, combined with a realistic approach to the budgetary constraints posed by the global economic situation.

We are pleased to see that the OSCE is recognizing progress in the Balkans, where local actors are capable of taking on most of the activities for which the OSCE has provided support and guidance in the past.

At the same time, a continued focus on the comprehensive security situation in Central Asia is correct in our view.  We need to support our most vulnerable members in their drive to improve capacities to secure borders, promote economic security and good governance, and protect human rights and fundamental freedoms.

The inclusion of the Border Management Staff College in the Unified Budget demonstrates a significant commitment by OSCE participating States to the security of the region and ensures the sustainability of the College.  By bringing senior border security managers from all five Central Asian participating States and Afghanistan together, the BMSC not only enhances the management of trans-national threats to security within each individual country, but it also provides a forum for regional exchange and greater cooperation among the States.  The OSCE’s unique contribution is this regional approach, making it a particularly relevant actor in Central Asia.  We commend those who have built the successes so far at the College and support bringing the BMSC into the Unified Budget to ensure continued success.

We also commend and take special note of the importance in including UNSCR 1540 programmatic work into the UB in order for the OSCE to sustain its excellent cooperation and liaison with the UN 1540 Committee and UNODA.

The United States will continue to emphasize the OSCE’s ability to support implementation of human dimension commitments throughout the OSCE space.  We are proud that the OSCE takes as its core a comprehensive approach to security, recognizing that lasting peace and stability depend on meeting our citizens’ legitimate aspirations for dignity, freedom, and opportunity.  As a result, we will advocate for appropriate budgets for the Institutions and others working to advance tolerance, democratic institutions, rule of law, electoral processes, and media freedoms, among others.

As we noted in previous years, we do remain concerned about the growth in the share of the budget going to the Secretariat.  We hope to work with you, Mr. Secretary General, and your team to find savings here in Vienna, both in staff and operational costs.

Finally, the United States looks forward to working with Ukraine, as it takes the lead on budget negotiations for 2013.  We are committed to negotiating constructively, with the core values and strengths of the Organization foremost in our considerations.

Thank you, Mr. Chairman.