Reply to Azerbaijan Regarding Implementation of OSCE Commitments: Statement to the PC

I wanted to respond to a couple of points. I won’t repeat the point I made earlier about responding to concerns with accusations which I think doesn’t make for a strong response. But I would say that it also applies here. I just wanted to clarify two things, though.

First, I wholeheartedly agree with our distinguished Azerbaijani colleague that it is not the role of any delegation – including my own – to “preach” to others. Part of the value of having commitments that were agreed by consensus over the years is that when we raise a concern with implementation of commitments, it is not “preaching” in the sense that we are  advocating a unilateral view, or espousing or evangelizing a unilateral view. We are advocating the demonstration of respect for each other that the upholding of mutual commitments entails. So it is not preaching but rather an expression of concern – and a respectful one, quite frankly – that if shared commitments are to mean anything they must be implemented. And where we have concerns with the implementation of commitments by another participating State it would actually be disrespectful and condescending of us not to raise those concerns. And if Azerbaijan or any other participating State has concerns about the United States – there will be a concern raised later in today’s meeting, for example – it is the prerogative for any State to raise such concerns.

The second thing I wanted to respond to was the notion that there is a lack of attention paid to other dimensions of security. I want to underscore – and this is not to disagree with anything that our distinguished Azerbaijani colleague has said – but I want to underscore again that the concerns that we raise about Azerbaijan’s failure to uphold its commitments in the human dimension are concerns that we raise because we are motivated by a comprehensive view of security, the comprehensive security commitments that we have in this organization. And therefore we see Azerbaijan’s failures to uphold its commitments with respect to the human dimension as crosscutting risks that pose a threat to security in other dimensions: security in the economic dimension, in terms of taking on the challenges of good governance and fighting corruption, and security in the hard security or political-military dimension. We remain fully committed – and have been deeply involved for many years – we remain fully committed to seeking a peaceful resolution of the ongoing conflict that affects Azerbaijan.

Thank you, Mr. Chair.

As delivered by Ambassador Daniel B. Baer to the OSCE Permanent Council, Vienna