FM Dacic is participating at the 23rd Ministerial Council of the OSCE, which is being held in Hamburg today and tomorrow. The main topics of this year’s Ministerial Council are the European security structure and the importance of arms control, the situation in and around Ukraine, as well as OSCE’s efforts aimed at solving the crisis.
The participation of FM Dacicat this year’s MC is of special significance, given that Serbia, as the previous Chair, is leaving the OSCE Troika format.
You can find FM Dacic’s integral address here:
Ladies and Gentlemen,
Dear Frank Walter,
Let me start by thanking the German Chairmanship and the Chairman-in-Office, Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier, for their tireless efforts over the past year and for hosting us here in the wonderful Free and Hanseatic city of Hamburg.
We have gathered here at the Ministerial Council Meeting again, a year after the Belgrade Meeting. During the course of this year, we have been working hard to try to renew dialogue, rebuild trust and restore security. Nevertheless, we are still faced with serious and difficult problems, unsolved conflicts and new threats. Despite all our attempts in the past year to find solutions for some of these problems, we are, dear colleagues, still far from accomplishing that goal.
At the same time, our Organization continued to actively perform under the diligent Chairmanship, with a particular focus on the strengthening of its capacities and thr crisis response mechanism in Eastern Ukraine. We had meaningful discussions on different and challenging issues, such as migration flows, countering terrorism and radicalization, conflict cycle – to mention just a few. We would also like to thank Frank-Walter for his arms control initiative. These efforts are the best indicator of the significance of our Organization, as well as of the need to take collective action. Our experience teaches us that the OSCE, as a platform for dialogue, but with flexibility and operational capabilities in diverse field operations, is an indispensable instrument for addressing common security challenges.
At the same time, it is clear that the OSCE, as a regional arrangement under Chapter VIII of the Charter of the United Nations, should act on the basis of full respect of the principles and commitments deriving from its key documents, primarily the Helsinki Final Act.
The most important and most serious challenge, which brought into question our common security, is the crisis in and around Ukraine. Serbia has provided active and consistent support to the OSCE’s role in addressing the crisis, particularly to the Special Monitoring Mission, which is the most visible element of OSCE crisis response. There is no alternative to a political solution for this conflict, and we support all efforts towards full implementation of Minsk Agreements. We also fully support the work of the Trilateral Contact Group and its Working Groups, as well as the efforts of the Normandy Format.
I am convinced that the participating States should act united in strengthening our Organization’s capacities in the conflict cycle, including from the experience we gained in Ukraine, in order to enable the best approach to the protracted and emerging conflicts in the OSCE area.
Allow me to highlight the challenges stemming from the migration and refugee flows that are of serious concern, affecting many participating States and going beyond particular region or route. Being in the very midst of the so-called “Western-Balkans migration route”, Serbia alone has been faced with more than 900,000 refugees and migrants transiting through its territory since the outbreak of this crises to the present, creating severe burden for our capacities.
Thus, migration and refugees flows require equal commitment of all of us to ensure that responses to the ongoing crises comply with our respective international obligations, including the relevant OSCE commitments. I strongly believe that after many discussions we had in the past two years, participating States should be able to adopt a consensus-based document and send a clear message on the importance of this issue.
Terrorist acts in the OSCE area and its neighborhood are vivid reminders that countering terrorism in all its forms and manifestations, as well as violent extremism and radicalization that leads to terrorism must remain among the top priorities of our Organization, with commitments of all participating States to unconditionally condemn any terrorist act and to join the efforts in combating this scourge.
I would like to take this opportunity to reiterate once again Serbia’s strategic orientation towards European integration. We are first and foremost interested in further developing regional stability through dialogue, peace and reconciliation. We have to look towards the future and economic and overall prosperity, in particular towards youth, and a more comprehensive and fruitful cooperation on our joint European path.
Let me also underline our commitment towards the EU-led dialogue with Priština and to the implementation of all agreements reached so far, in particular on the establishment of the Community of Serb Municipalities. We believe that an open and honest dialogue is the only way to improve the everyday lives of the people living in Kosovo and Metohija.
In the last three years we had the honor and privilege to serve in the interest of our Organization as a Troika member and to chair the Organization in 2015. This period was marked by numerous security challenges, causing tensions, mistrust and insecurity. Lack of confidence and trust is a serious obstacle to the functioning of the Organization. We strongly believe that, regardless of the current political moment and the problems we are facing, and regardless of all our differences, the functioning of the Organization and its institutions should be our primary goal, including the adoption of the key decisions. There are a lot of pressing issues and different topics which we should unite in tackling and which we should use to demonstrate our capacity to work together. In this regard, we need to show our responsibility and try to overcome our differences and restore confidence and trust.
In conclusion, I would like to extend our gratitude to the outgoing German Chairmanship and pledge our full support to the incoming Austrian Chairmanship.