Response to the Report by the OSCE Coordinator for Economic and Environmental Affairs, Mr. Goran Svilanovic

As delivered by Ambassador Ian Kelly
to the Permanent Council, Vienna
October 25, 2012

The United States thanks Mr. Svilanovic for his report on the OSCE’s economic and environmental activities since May 2012.  Mr. Svilanovic, these last months have been a very busy and productive period for you and your staff.  The 20th Economic and Environmental Forum in Prague and the second annual Economic and Environmental Dimension Implementation Meeting, which was held last week here in Vienna, have provided valuable context for the participating States as we look towards the Dublin Ministerial Council.  We are confident we all can attain meaningful and significant action there on the topic of good governance and transparency, and we thank you and your staff for your facilitation of and contributions to the dialogue and work on this important topic.

At the same time, your office, working in close partnership with the Economic and Environmental Officers in the field, has been developing and implementing an impressive array of programs, seminars, and training sessions.  These activities have been designed to gather information from the field, engage subject matter experts, and disseminate best practices back to the field, building and strengthening an information-sharing network among participating States that clearly demonstrates how the OSCE can benefit us all, particularly in the Second Dimension.

For example, several roundtables and training seminars were held to discuss and make use of the recently produced OSCE-UNECE Handbook of Best Practices at Border Crossings.  The OSCE Border Management Staff College in Dushanbe proved an ideal sponsor for at least two of these activities, further proving its value and utility.  Seminars, workshops, and OCEEA participation in events sponsored by outside organizations extended the OSCE’s efforts to combat money laundering, counter terrorist financing, and address the recovery of stolen assets.

We were particularly pleased with the attention paid by the OCEEA to gender-specific topics within the Second Dimension, including an event on “The Feminization of Labor Migration,” and the recently concluded five-day seminar in Istanbul, which brought together 25 women from Afghanistan, Tajikistan, and Azerbaijan to learn first-hand about small enterprise development in the jewelry and textile industries.

Mr. Svilanovic, as this is your last appearance before the Permanent Council in your position as Co-coordinator of OSCE Economic and Environmental Activities, we wish to express our deepest appreciation for the hard work you and your staff have put into what the OSCE has accomplished recently in the Second Dimension.  You have been a true leader and a most effective partner in these efforts.  Yours will be a difficult act to follow, but we commit to making sure the OSCE continues its progress on economic and environmental issues.  We wish you all the best in your future endeavors.

Thank you, Mr. Chairman.