Response to the Report of MGen. Torres

Response to the Report of MGen. Torres, Personal Representative of the OSCE Chairperson-in-Office for Article IV of Annex 1B of the Dayton Peace Accords

As delivered by Ambassador Ian Kelly
to the Permanent Council, Vienna
September 6, 2012

Thank you, Mr. Chairman.

The United States warmly welcomes General Torres, and we thank him for his excellent stewardship over Article IV.  The United States commends the Parties for their success in implementing the Agreement on Sub-Regional Arms Control and for the decision to move to Phase II of their Action Plan this past May in Rome.

Since 1996, the Article IV Agreement has contributed to improved security and stability for the people of the Western Balkans and we welcome the efforts by the Parties to ensure the success of the Agreement for the future.

The steps the Parties have taken to continue effective implementation and their progress in executing their Action Plan clearly demonstrate the value of the Agreement, and stand as an example of trust on which the Parties can continue to build in other areas.  The accomplishments are so significant that Acting Under Secretary of State Rose Gottemoeller has noted the success of the Article IV Agreement in the context of her ongoing discussions about the future of the conventional arms control in Europe.

We also appreciate General Torres’ commitment and dedicated engagement with the Parties to transfer ownership and look forward to the continued successful implementation of the Article IV Agreement.  We also want to reiterate our firm support for the Parties, as well as for the Personal Representative and his staff.  As always, the United States stands ready to provide appropriate assistance and we look forward to the completion of the transfer of the ownership process.

Thank you, Mr. Chairman.