On the OSCE Secretary General’s Briefing on Program Outline

OSCE Secretary General Thomas Greminger presented the 2020 Program Outline at the May 2, 2019 Permanent Council.

US Statement on OSCE Secretary General’s Briefing on Program Outline

As delivered by Acting Deputy Chief of Mission Gregory Macris
to the Permanent Council, Vienna
May 2, 2019

Thank you, Mr. Chair.

The United States welcomes the 2020 Program Outline and expresses our appreciation to the Secretary General, the fund managers, and their staff for the thoughtful effort expended in creating this document. Finding new ways to leverage the Organization’s expertise and resources across the entire OSCE space and all three dimensions is more pressing than ever.

As we launch this first phase of the budget process, we hope conversations on the 2020 Program Outline will lead to constructive discussions on the Unified Budget, ensuring timely consensus.

In this process, the priorities of the United States remain consistent: to secure sufficient resources for the OSCE’s independent institutions – the Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights, the Representative on Freedom of the Media, and the High Commissioner on National Minorities – and to support the Organization’s field operations. We applaud initiatives, such as the Secretariat Management Review, to make the Organization more efficient, lean, and agile and would welcome the extension of such efforts to all executive structures. The United States is willing to explore reform of the budget process, including a possible multi-year framework, to make this exercise more strategic and less administratively onerous.

With respect to the Unified Budget, it is the view of the United States that zero nominal growth should remain as the benchmark and the ultimate goal of the effort that begins with these discussions of the Program Outline. We fully agree with the Secretary General’s anticipation of “the need to further sharpen the focus of each executive structure in order to deliver meaningful results.” This goal can and should be accomplished with the resources available. As we all know, the Unified Budget is just one component of the funding of the Organization. Participating States may contribute to the Organization in many ways. The United States is the largest financial contributor to the OSCE and acknowledges that a new financial paradigm may be needed, but that paradigm should not simply equate to a call for those at the top of the scale to pay more. Those that contribute little should give more.

The United States looks forward to the upcoming discussions. As always, we, the participating States of the OSCE, must accept the responsibility for the hard decisions that will shape the Organization for the coming year and in years to come. Ultimately, the OSCE will be what we collectively want it to be. The United States embraces this responsibility, and we call on others to do the same.

Thank you, Mr. Chair.