The Need for the Human Dimension Implementation Meeting (HDIM)
As delivered by Chargé d’Affaires Courtney Austrian
to the Special Permanent Council, Vienna
August 20, 2021
Thank you, Madam Chair.
All participating States have recognized OSCE’s comprehensive concept of security, reflected in the Helsinki Final Act’s Guiding Principles. Time and again, participating States have affirmed that respect for commitments in the three dimensions of security is necessary if we are to achieve lasting peace and well-being in our region. That is why our highest levels of leadership—Heads of State or Government at the 1992 Helsinki Summit and Ministers more recently—mandated the holding of annual implementation reviews of the commitments in the three dimensions. This stocktaking is a hallmark of the OSCE and has distinguished it for decades.
I am pleased that we will soon be holding the Annual Security Review Conference. This good result is the product of patient engagement by our Chair and a willingness on the part of individual participating States to find a way ahead. It is profoundly important now that we also proceed to hold the annual Human Dimension Implementation Meeting (HDIM). The last two years have witnessed not only a traumatic global pandemic which has inflicted enormous human costs on all of our societies, but also disturbing increases in human rights violations and abuses in this region, including repressive measures imposed by participating States to silence dissent and stop the work of civil society organizations and independent media. More than ever, we need to have a frank discussion of these issues among participating States and with independent non-governmental voices. More than ever, we need the HDIM.
The HDIM is not just needed, it is mandatory, not discretionary. The annual HDIM, as originally mandated by the Heads of State or Government at the 1992 Helsinki Summit and subsequently updated in response to a Ministerial tasking, is an essential part of the work of the OSCE. It is vital that the 2021 HDIM is convened. Procedural matters should not be permitted to take precedence over the fundamental principle at stake – the principle of holding participating States accountable to each other and to our people for fulfilling our Helsinki commitments. It is past time to confirm the dates for the HDIM. The annual review of implementation of human dimension commitments is a core function of this organization. Let us move ahead to fulfill the intention of our leaders.
Thank you, Madam Chair.