Response to Security Committee Chair

As delivered by Ambassador Daniel B. Baer
to the Permanent Council, Vienna
February 6, 2014

The United States warmly welcomes Ambassador Schroeder as the new Chairman of the Security Committee and thanks him for his report to the Permanent Council today detailing the Committee’s plans for 2014.  We thank Ambassador Schroeder for his early engagement and leadership in advancing the OSCE’s work in the first dimension and for his plans to continue the pivotal work accomplished during Ambassador Ildem’s tenure.

The United States strongly supports the work of the Security Committee and commends its efforts to address transnational threats.  Transnational threats are far from new, yet their evolving and widespread nature demands that the OSCE remain fully engaged and constantly alert to emerging trends in order to combat them.  Furthermore, these threats affect all OSCE participating States and Partners for Cooperation, and we must work together to confront them.  The United States particularly welcomes the Security Committee’s focus on countering terrorist financing, including kidnapping for ransom; on drug trafficking; and on the issue of the return of foreign fighters.  We applaud the OSCE for expanding the role the organization can play in combating transnational threats.

At the same time, the United States recognizes that as the OSCE tackles emerging and evolving issues, it must also continue to implement its commitments in other areas, including border security and police-related activities.  We note with satisfaction the Security Committee’s plan to strengthen these efforts, particularly in Central Asia, and encourage the Committee to collaborate with other international organizations such as UNODC in promoting shared values and goals while avoiding wasteful duplication of effort.

The United States appreciates the support voiced by Ambassador Schroeder as the Security Committee Chairman to continue the work of the Informal Working Group (IWG) as established by Permanent Council Decision 1039 and implement the cyber confidence-building measures agreed by the participating States—a first for a regional organization as others have noted.  The United States firmly believes that the adoption of these cyber CBMs will help enhance interstate cooperation, transparency, predictability, and stability among participating States.  It is the first step, and we also encourage the Security Committee, through the IWG, to consider developing a second set of cyber CBMs to advance further OSCE efforts in this regard.

In closing, Ambassador Schroeder, let me reiterate our strong support for your dedication and our appreciation for your dedication and willingness to serve at the helm of this very important committee.  We look forward to working closely with you and your team this year.

Thank you, Mr. Chairman.