Response to the Presentation of the 2023 Program Outline by the OSCE Secretary General

Response to the Presentation of the 2023 Program Outline by the OSCE Secretary General, Helga Maria Schmid. (OSCE/Micky Kroell)

Response to the Presentation of the 2023 Program Outline by the OSCE Secretary General

As delivered by Ambassador Michael Carpenter
to the Permanent Council, Vienna
June 9, 2022

Madam Secretary General, dear Helga, the United States welcomes the release of the 2023 Program Outline and your presentation. I want to thank you and all of the OSCE staff for the dedication to our joint mission in spite of the challenges facing us. Russia’s unprovoked, brutal war against Ukraine is affecting this entire organization, and the OSCE must continue to provide essential support to Ukraine and neighboring countries that are affected by Russia’s aggression.

We see the OSCE at work providing necessary humanitarian support to individuals forcibly displaced in Ukraine.  We value the organization’s swift anti-trafficking efforts and awareness-raising programs on conflict-related sexual violence in neighboring countries, which are welcoming millions of refugees fleeing the devastation left by Russia’s assault.  Countering trafficking in human beings, cultural property, and illicit weapons is a growing concern of the international community, and the OSCE has a unique role in providing direct support to regional governments in this regard.

The Program Outline is also an excellent reminder of the essential work of the OSCE’s Field Missions throughout the OSCE region. Despite the regional challenges, the Field Missions continue to provide valuable and targeted assistance to their host countries — and reach out to civil society, which also plays an important role — in addressing transnational threats, strengthening good governance, protecting the environment, and promoting free and fair elections and respect for human rights.

Unfortunately, this work and the other critical support the OSCE provides to all participating States through its institutions and field missions becomes more and more difficult to accomplish without the adoption of the 2022 Unified Budget.  We fully support the Chair’s efforts to find a way through this impasse.  Our objective for the Program Outline should be to ensure the OSCE is serving our comprehensive security interests, now and in the future.

Finally, I want to commend you, Madam Secretary General, for your ongoing efforts to reinforce an environment of good governance at the OSCE, through the pursuit of the Secretariat’s Functional Review, the work of the Ethics Coordinator, and the Staff Instruction on the Prevention of Sexual Exploitation and Abuse.  I would like to add, given the leading efforts of the past few years, that we would welcome an update on progress made in strengthening and implementing guidance on the prevention of human trafficking in the OSCE’s own procurement of goods and services, including contracting.

Please be assured of our continued support to maintain a strong and effective OSCE to promote dialogue, to pursue peace, and to build a more secure, democratic, and prosperous region.