Response to the Coordinator of OSCE Economic and Environmental Activities

An image which highlights some of the many issue involved in the prevention of corruption. (OSCE photo)

Response to the OSCE Economic and Environment Activities Coordinator, Ambassador Vuk Žugić

As delivered Chargé d’Affaires, a.i. Harry Kamian
to the Permanent Council, Vienna
November 15, 2018

The United States thanks you, Ambassador Žugić, for your update on the OSCE’s Office of Economic and Environmental Activities’ work. We commend you on the balanced, forward-leaning, and inclusive approach your office has taken.

Alongside your office’s many activities, the United States supports efforts to prevent and fight corruption, promote connectivity, boost energy security, and address security concerns caused by environmental threats.

We are pleased to see the continued emphasis on fighting corruption, including through an increased number, size, and scope of extra-budgetary (ExB) projects. As a founding member of the Open Government Partnership (OGP), the United States recognizes corruption as a threat to global peace and prosperity. We welcome your office’s initiative to partner with OGP to strengthen anti-corruption initiatives and share best practices across the OSCE region. We recently committed ExB funds to this and to other anti-corruption projects.

We welcome your engagement on the two Second Dimension draft Ministerial Council texts and we will continue to engage constructively in the negotiations.

Finally, in your report, you suggest there would be merit in considering the creation, within the Economic and Environmental Committee, of an informal and open-ended platform for dialogue on digitalization. We would welcome additional details at the appropriate time on how you see this new entity complementing, rather than overlapping with, the work of the Committee and of your office.

Thank you once again, Coordinator Žugić, for your report to the Permanent Council. We look forward to continuing our excellent relations and our productive partnership.

Thank you, Mr. Chair.