As delivered by Ambassador Daniel B. Baer to the Permanent Council, Vienna | November 4, 2014
The United States warmly welcomes UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon to the Permanent Council.
Mr. Secretary General, the OSCE has long recognized the importance of strengthening cooperation with international organizations and institutions to promote comprehensive security within the OSCE area. Since the creation of this Organization, UN-OSCE cooperation has been underpinned by a collaborative relationship, mutually-reinforcing commitments, and international law. The OSCE’s cross-dimensional approach allows it to promote the UN’s standards and commitments in the areas of security, economic development and the environment, and human rights and democratization. Our cooperation in these areas helps to ensure that we maximize our efforts and the use of resources. The United States will continue to support joint UN-OSCE endeavors.
Mr. Secretary General, you are here at an extraordinary time for this Organization. The OSCE’s founding principles and commitments are being challenged by the current crisis in European security and have been violated by Russia’s aggression against Ukraine, including its purported annexation and illegal occupation of Crimea. Just this past Sunday, illegitimate, so-called “elections” were held by Russia-backed separatists in parts of Donetsk and Luhansk, contravening Ukraine’s constitution, the law on “special status,” and the September 5 Minsk Protocol to which Russia was a signatory. The OSCE has played an important and admirable role in the international response to this crisis. Its institutions, field missions, personnel, and expertise have worked tirelessly to try to de-escalate the conflict and help monitor the implementation of the Minsk agreement, in particular through the Special Monitoring Mission. We join you, Mr. Secretary General, in calling for all parties to honor the commitments made in Minsk.
Mr. Secretary General, thank you again for spending this time with us today. I was particularly struck by how your address underscored the enduring truth of the center of the OSCE’s and the UN’s work: that security must be pursued in a comprehensive manner, and that human rights are central to sustainable development, and human rights violations are an early indicator for challenges to security and stability. The United States is proud to work alongside you and help promote the founding principles of the United Nations and this Organization. The U.S. commitment to defending and promoting these principles remains firm.
Thank you, Mr. Secretary General, and thank you, Mr. Chair.