Response to Presentations by the Chairpersons of the Economic and Environmental Committee and the Human Dimension Committee
As delivered by Ambassador James Gilmore
to the Permanent Council, Vienna
February 13, 2020
Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
The United States welcomes the distinguished Chairs from the Second and Third OSCE Committees to the Permanent Council. Thank you, Ambassadors Asadov and Šrámek, for your leadership and for promoting a collaborative approach among the committees and across dimensions.
Beginning with the Second Committee, Ambassador Asadov, I’d like to congratulate you on assuming the Chairmanship. I am delighted to see you and Uzbekistan take on this important leadership role. We welcome your new perspectives in the Second Committee and look forward to building a close and collaborative working relationship with you and your team.
The Economic and Environmental Dimension is an essential component of the OSCE’s comprehensive security approach – not only a place to build bridges or to evade contentious discussions, it is an essential component. Preventing and combating corruption – especially when it is linked to organized crime – is an urgent need, as is recognizing the environmental impacts of corruption and criminality. We are pleased you incorporated these critical issues in the committee’s work plan, in alignment with the Albanian Chairmanship’s priorities.
Ambassador Šrámek, thank you for your leadership this past year as Chair of the Human Dimension Committee and for the presentation of your planned thematic program for 2020 at the first Human Dimension Committee meeting earlier this week. The United States supports your intention to prioritize human rights and fundamental freedoms in the Committee’s discussions. We applaud your commitment to including experts from OSCE executive structures and independent civil society, who will add their valuable perspectives to our discussion. We also support the tradition of having states provide voluntary reports on the specifics of challenges they face and best practices on how best to respond. These reports give context to the Committee’s discussions, reminding us that implementation of our Third Dimension commitments can have real effects on real people.
The United States also calls on all participating States to work constructively towards selecting topics and finalizing decisions for the Human Dimension Implementation Meeting as early as possible.
HDIM provides an unparalleled platform to discuss the breadth and seriousness of the human rights challenges we face across the OSCE region and to demonstrate progress in implementing third dimension commitments necessary to strengthen our shared security.
Finally, with next week’s Winter Meeting of the OSCE Parliamentary Assembly in mind, the United States encourages each of the committees to continue collaboration with the corresponding committees of the OSCE Parliamentary Assembly. We have much to gain through cross-fertilization of OSCE initiatives, and we should take full advantage of the opportunities that are provided by next week’s complete meeting to be held in Vienna.
Chairs, the United States joins other delegations in expressing its appreciation for your leadership and looks forward to working with you. Your committees’ work and your cross-dimensional focus embody the OSCE’s comprehensive concept of security. The United States also joins others in wishing the representative of the United Kingdom a speedy recovery so that he can return to the Permanent Council at the earliest moment. Chairmen, you have the United States’ full support in your work.
Thank you, Mr. Chair.