Response to the Presentation by the Chairs of the Three Committees: the Security Committee, the Economic and Environmental Committee, and the Human Dimension Committee
As delivered by Ambassador Michael R. Carpenter
to the Permanent Council, Vienna
December 14, 2023
Thank you to our three superb committee chairs, Ambassadors Stoian, Raunig, and Callan, for your excellent reports and skillful leadership. As we noted back on February 9th when you first presented to the Permanent Council, Russia’s aggression against Ukraine and intransigent approach to this Organization have made addressing the challenges of comprehensive European security all the more urgent. Unfortunately, as 2023 comes to a close, not much has changed. Throughout the year, Russia continues to wage its ruthless war against Ukraine in violation of international law and in contravention of its OSCE commitments, and continues to impede the functioning of the OSCE itself.
Yet, undaunted, each of your committees has pressed ahead with your important work, demonstrating what this organization can accomplish, even when one participating State – Russia – tries to keep the OSCE from fulfilling its responsibilities across the region in all three dimensions of security. You have our gratitude for that.
To Deputy Permanent Representative Donciu, dear Irina, please convey my appreciation to Ambassador Stoian. The Security Committee adapted admirably to the dynamic security conditions caused by Russia’s war against Ukraine. From security in cyberspace to trafficking in cultural property in times of conflict, the Security Committee addressed a comprehensive range of critical concerns across the OSCE area.
Ambassador Raunig, dear Florian, the Economic and Environmental Committee also tackled numerous complicated themes this year, from the environmental problems sparked by Russia’s war against Ukraine and Russia’s termination of the Black Sea Grain Initiative to addressing security risks posed by climate change in Central Asia and beyond, to tackling corruption and money-laundering. In 2024, the United States will continue to prioritize combating corruption. Environmental and climate-related activities will also remain among our top objectives, and we look forward to our ongoing collaboration with you in this area.
Dear Ambassador Callan, dear Anne-Marie, your work in the Human Dimension Committee has been of the utmost importance. As Russia and other participating States clamp down on civil society and independent media, the critical work of the OSCE to keep this space open – especially in times of war and conflict – is all the more paramount. As we mark the 75th anniversary of the Declaration of Human Rights, the United States underscores our enduring commitment to support Human Dimension activities. We will continue to call out and condemn the outrages inflicted by Russia on its own people and its neighbors and we will defend the integrity and human rights of all, throughout the OSCE region.
Ambassadors, Colleagues, I would like to thank each of you, as well as your teams for your impactful work in the course of this year. We look forward to continuing our outstanding cooperation in 2024.