U.S. Statement for the Forum for Security Cooperation: Opening Statement
As delivered by Ambassador Michael R. Carpenter
to the Forum for Security Cooperation, Vienna
September 13, 2023
It is my sincere pleasure to welcome you as the newest Chair of the Forum for Security Cooperation, and I welcome Canada’s program of work for this trimester. We fully support your plan to discuss demining, strengthening the application of international humanitarian law, advancement of the Women, Peace, and Security agenda, mental health, and information integrity.
Your efforts are proof that, in spite of Russia’s and Belarus’s ongoing attempts to derail the work of the OSCE, we can still have productive discussions on important issues. Consistent with the Helsinki Final Act and the OSCE Code of Conduct on Politico-Military Aspects of Security the overwhelming majority of participating States in the FSC support Ukraine both politically and militarily against Russia’s aggression.
Through our collective resolve, the Support Program for Ukraine is up and running and providing vital assistance to Kyiv through nearly 20 projects. The brave men and women of Ukraine’s armed forces, utilizing kit and training provided by participating States in this room, continue to make steady progress on the front lines. They are wearing down Russia’s static defenses and liberating more and more of Ukraine’s territory every day.
Through our collective resolve, and as a consequence of its own actions, Russia is increasingly isolated, including in this forum. Most importantly, Russia’s goal of erasing the sovereign, independent country of Ukraine from the map has failed. With each day that Russia continues its war, the scope and scale of its failure only increases.
But we will not rest. Russia’s war of aggression against Ukraine must remain at the center of the FSC’s discussions. It must remain our focus until Russia withdraws from the internationally recognized borders of Ukraine and acknowledges Ukraine’s sovereignty within those borders.
Whether or not Russia attempts to block the work of this forum during your Chairpersonship, the United States stands with you as we did with previous Chairs to ensure that we, the participating States of the OSCE, are not held hostage to the whims of one or two participating States.
Finally, we bid farewell to Bosnia and Herzegovina from the troika, and we welcome Cyprus as its newest member. At this moment, it is truly heartening, as many colleagues here have already said, to see this organization living up to the ideals expressed in UN Security Council Resolution 1325, which stressed the importance of “the equal participation and full involvement of women in all efforts for the maintenance and promotion of peace and security.” This forum has reached a worthy milestone in having for the first time a troika of women ambassadors at the helm leading our efforts. Congratulations to you all.