On the Appointment of the OSCE Secretary General

Secretary General nameplate at the Hofburg Congress Center in Vienna, Austria. (USOSCE/Colin Peters)

Interpretative Statement on the Appointment of the OSCE Secretary General, Pursuant to IV.I(A)6 of the OSCE Rules of Procedure

As delivered by Chargé d’Affaires, a.i. Kate M. Byrnes
to the Permanent Council, Vienna
July 20, 2017

Thank you, Mr. Chair.

In connection with the adoption of the Decision for the appointment of the OSCE Secretary General, the United States would like to make the following interpretative statement under paragraph IV.1(A)6 of the OSCE Rules of Procedure.

The United States welcomes the appointment of Ambassador Thomas Greminger.  We support the work of the Secretary General and the OSCE Secretariat.

We recall that the Secretary General derives his/her authority from the collective decisions of the participating States and acts under the guidance of the Chairman in Office.  He or she is the Chief Administrative Officer of the OSCE, and is tasked, among other things, to act as the representative of the Chairman-in-Office and support him or her in all activities aimed at fulfilling the goals of the OSCE. Nothing in this decision should be interpreted to alter the mandate of the Secretary General or restrict the work of the Secretary General in the exercise of his or her mandate.

Finally, the United States underscores that it is the OSCE participating States which have adopted our principles, commitments and decisions and it is first and foremost the responsibility of the participating States to implement them.

I request that this interpretative statement be attached to the decision and that it be included in the Journal of the Day.

Thank you, Mr. Chair.