Opening Statement at the 2023 Prague Forum on the Economic and Environmental Dimension of the OSCE
As delivered by Ambassador Michael R. Carpenter
September 14, 2023
First, I would like to extend my sincere gratitude to this morning’s esteemed speakers for their insightful remarks and commend the Second Dimension team for their work organizing this forum.
I applaud the CiO’s tenacity in advancing the mission of the OSCE Second Dimension despite Russia’s attempts to undermine our efforts.
The Chair’s theme, championing resilient and inclusive economic growth, couldn’t be more pertinent given Russia’s war of aggression against Ukraine. Russia’s invasion not only disrupts the social and economic fabric of Ukraine, it also casts a shadow of instability over the entire OSCE region. Russia’s actions illustrate the need to strengthen and elevate economic growth and sustainability as tools for fortifying stability.
The OCEEA’s assessment of the environmental fallout from Russia’s aggression paints a grim picture of the significant harm done to Ukraine’s urban, rural, and marine environments. Such environmental destruction poses enduring health and humanitarian risks to the people of Ukraine and the surrounding region. The Second Dimension’s work will be vital to mitigating the economic and environmental damage caused by this conflict.
Similarly, the OCEEA is key to addressing the security implications of climate change, a crisis that is global in scope and indiscriminate in its consequences. At the July High-Level Conference on Climate Change, U.S. Special Presidential Envoy for Climate John Kerry emphasized the essential role the OSCE, with its 57 participating States, could play in galvanizing a more organized, concerted response to climate change.
Tackling the climate crisis, advancing anti-corruption efforts, or strengthening economic connectivity, the United States is unwavering in its support for the OSCE’s Second Dimension. I am eager for this week’s discussions, and I believe that by working together, we can pave a path to peace and prosperity for all member states.