On Plans by the Secretariat to Cover One Country’s Debt through the Unified Budget

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

On Plans by the Secretariat to Cover One Country’s Debt through the Unified Budget

As delivered by Acting Deputy Chief of Mission Gregory Macris
to the Permanent Council, Vienna
November 8, 2018

There was little time for discussion or debate at the close of today’s morning session. After the Secretary General tabled his proposal for utilizing Unified Budget funds to cover a shortfall that was incurred by one – and I repeat, one – participating State, the Secretary General’s proposed course of action to right this wrong is not one that the United States can accept.

We were surprised that he brought this to the Permanent Council (PC). While we were aware that the Secretariat had brought this issue before the ACMF [Advisory Committee on Management and Finance], we think it counterproductive for discussion in the PC, and it can only further complicate an already complicated budget process, as well as further politicize the issue by bringing in OSCE participating States that are not party to the Conventional Forces in Europe (CFE) Treaty.

To summarize our position, the CFE Treaty does not allow a State party to “suspend” its membership. The United States and other States party registered this fact with the depository, the Netherlands, when Russia announced this action. We also repeated this when Russia stopped attending the JCG [Joint Consultative Group] in 2015. Each CFE State party owes its financial obligations itself. The JCG as an entity does not. This an obligation and shortfall of one State party in this room, not of the JCG writ large.

Thank you, Mr. Chair.