Statement of Support for the ASRC, HDIM, and the 2021 Unified Budget

Flags with the OSCE logo in front of the Hofburg in Vienna

Statement of Support for the ASRC, HDIM, and the 2021 Unified Budget

As delivered by Chargé d’Affaires, a.i Courtney Austrian 
to the Permanent Council, Vienna
August 5, 2021

Here we are on August 5. Another week has passed and we still do not have consensus on technical decisions related to the Annual Security Review Conference, the Human Dimension Implementation Meeting, and the 2021 Unified Budget – and it’s August. The United States appreciates the efforts of the Swedish Chair-in-Office to find consensus and is extremely disappointed that a few States represented in this Permanent Council continue to reject good faith efforts at reasonable compromises. This obstructionism damages the OSCE’s functioning and our collective ability to further its organizational goal, namely strengthening comprehensive security in this region.

As we noted last week, participating States have had more than sufficient time to work through their respective concerns and ultimately reach consensus. Yet, certain States continue to choose brinkmanship over leadership. Forty-six years ago last Sunday, President Ford signed the Helsinki Final Act, and famously stated that the participating States would be judged not by the promises made, but by the promises kept.

Indeed. Annual review conferences in the three dimensions of security are an essential means of holding us all accountable for meeting our commitments—our commitments to each other and to all the people of the OSCE region. We cannot permit obstructionism over procedural matters to prevent us from keeping our promises.

I said last week, and it is truer today than it was a week ago—we cannot allow ourselves to reach a point where the OSCE’s inability to conduct its daily business overshadows our shared commitments in the Helsinki Final Act. The United States does not support continuation of a situation where this organization fails to fulfill the core mandates of its Ministers. The ASRC and HDIM need to be held.

Madam Chair, we support your continued negotiations and endorse working through August—if required—to achieve consensus on agendas and procedural details, but WE need to set dates for these events. There will never be a perfect decision, but it is totally unacceptable for inaction by the Permanent Council to de facto overrule the Ministerial Council. Let us set the dates today. We can then continue to sort out remaining items on the agendas and modalities.

Thank you, Madam Chair.