Response to the Coordinator of OSCE Economic and Environmental Activities: Statement to the PC

The United States welcomes Dr. Yigitgüden back to the Permanent Council.

Dr. Yigitgüden, thank you for your comprehensive report on the activities of the Office of the Coordinator of OSCE Economic and Environmental Activities (OCEEA), and for the efforts you and your team have made over the past several months. Economic and environmental issues remain integral to the OSCE’s comprehensive approach to security. As you detailed so clearly in your report, the OCEEA remains active in a wide variety of activities to assist participating States with fulfilling their commitments in these areas.

We recognize your team’s efforts, made in close cooperation with the Serbian Chairmanship, to plan and coordinate both the Economic and Environmental Forum held in Prague last month, and this week’s Economic and Environmental Dimension Implementation Meeting (EEDIM) here in Vienna. These events provided us with a deeper understanding of water governance and anti-corruption issues and the important roles they play in regional security and stability.

Dr. Yigitgüden, following your report to the Permanent Council a year ago, the United States called for greater attention in the OSCE to combatting corruption. We acknowledge and appreciate the additional emphasis your office and the Serbian Chairmanship have brought to this important issue over the past year. This week’s EEDIM, which focused entirely on anti-corruption, clearly demonstrated the importance of participating States’ establishing and implementing appropriate legislation and policies to combat corruption and promote good governance, developing measures to improve transparency and accountability, and empowering anti-corruption governmental bodies and civil society. As we have learned from our own experience in the United States, fighting the scourge of corruption is a complex, ongoing endeavor. We encourage you to continue focusing the work of your office on how the OSCE and its participating States can combat corruption more effectively.

As we noted at EEDIM, the United States would like to see a more robust, fully integrated, regularly scheduled review of participating States’ implementation of the Dublin Declaration on Strengthening Good Governance and Combating Corruption, Money Laundering, and the Financing of Terrorism. We look to you and your office for leadership on this. Perhaps a pilot project with voluntary participation could help identify workable models.

Finally, we welcome the incoming German Chairmanship’s commitment to strengthen the Second Dimension, which has untapped potential. We encourage the OCEEA to work closely with the Serbian Chairmanship and the incoming German Chairmanship to identify how the OSCE can accomplish this. The United States is committed to this effort. You have our full support.

Dr. Yigitgüden, we appreciate all of the work you and your team have done, and thank you again for your report today.

Thank you, Madam Chair.

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