Response to Dr. Halil Yurdakul Yigitgüden, Coordinator of OSCE Economic and Environmental Activities

As delivered by Acting Deputy Chief of Mission Christopher Midura
to the Permanent Council, Vienna
October 24, 2013

The United States welcomes Dr. Yigitgüden to the Permanent Council as he presents his latest report as Coordinator of OSCE Economic and Environmental Activities.  We appreciate the high level of activity in which he and his staff have been engaged since his last report, and look forward to a continuation of his valuable work.

Dr. Yigitgüden has outlined a broad array of activities in the Second Dimension this year, and we are pleased with the workshops and training programs undertaken and their initial results.  As we have said on many occasions, the United States firmly believes that the Ministerial Declaration on Good Governance and Combating Corruption, Money-Laundering and the Financing of Terrorism was a significant achievement for the OSCE.  Good Governance should be at the core of all the work we do in the OSCE’s Second Dimension.  Dr. Yigitgüden and his staff have done an excellent job of ensuring this so far this year, and we offer our continued support on that focus.  We applaud the work they and the field mission personnel have done on anti-money laundering, anti-corruption, asset recovery, and transparency.  Continued cooperation with such organizations as UNODC, UNECE, EBRD, and the OECD will extend the reach and impact of our OSCE resources, and should remain a priority.

We are glad to see the increasing involvement of our OSCE field mission personnel in Second Dimension activities.  We welcome their engagement at the Economic and Environmental Forum (EEF) and this week’s Economic and Environmental Dimension Implementation Meeting (EEDIM).  Presentations and reports from our field mission representatives bring a healthy dose of realism to our discussions and help us to focus on the most relevant and appropriate challenges that the OSCE can address.

We continue to call for increased interaction between policymakers, civil society, and the business community in all of our participating States.  During the EEDIM, many participating States and speakers noted that greater public involvement and transparency in policymaking has a direct impact on the collective security of citizens and their neighbors.  As a platform for multi-stakeholder engagement, the OSCE can serve as a catalyst to develop public-private partnerships with interested parties.  We appreciate the Coordinator’s willingness to consider these sorts of new and innovative ways to help us meet our Second Dimension commitments.

We urge all participating States to increase the level of attention and staffing resources, both here in Vienna and in their respective capitals, in pursuit of Second Dimension goals.  This enhanced focus should not come at the expense of the other two dimensions, but should elevate the profile of the Second Dimension.  The Ukrainian Chairmanship, the Slovak Chair of the Economic and Environmental Committee, and Dr. Yigitgüden   have done a tremendous job this year of leading the way, and it is up to each of us to take up this challenge and join them.

Thank you, Madam Chair.