OSCE Chairman-in-Office, First Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs Ivica Dacic held a press conference at Kombank Arena, today. Minister Dacic presented to the attendees the venue of the 22nd OSCE Ministerial Council, to be held on 3-4 December 2015.
The Ministerial Council is the final event of Serbia’s Chairmanship and the place where major political decisions are adopted. Fifty-seven OSCE participating States and 11 partner countries have been invited to attend the Ministerial Council.
The OSCE CiO stated that 1,115 country representatives have been accredited and confirmed so far, including 38 Foreign Ministers, as well as the High Representative of the European Union for Foreign and Security Policy Federica Mogherini. Bilateral meetings (to be held on the fringes of the meeting) and multilateral meetings that are still being agreed among the participants include meetings with OSCE CiO Ivica Dacic and with other officials of the Republic of Serbia.
“The OSCE Ministerial Council is one of the most complicated international conferences for the host country in terms of organization, as it requires the fulfilment of extensive and precise conditions set by the OSCE Secretariat”, said Dacic.The Serbian Foreign Minister further underlined that the country hosting the Ministerial Council would cover all the expenses of organization, for which the Republic of Serbia has allocated funds from its 2015 Budget, in the amount of 360 million dinars. The OSCE Secretariat will provide financial assistance to the host country in the amount of EUR 500,000 which must be spent solely on covering conference organization expenses and costs will have to bejustified to the Secretariat, since the funds are allocated from the OSCE Budget.
To make a comparison, Switzerland spent a total of some 17 million Swiss francs to organize the Ministerial Council in Basel in 2014.
At today’s press conference, the OSCE Chairman-in-Office and Serbia’s Minister of Foreign Affairs made public the following facts:
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Serbia received the following donations as assistance in the organization of this year’s Ministerial Council:
1) For HoD transportation, 40 high-class BMW cars, including 5 armour-plated ones for protected persons, were provided for use at the Ministerial Council free of charge, by BMW AG and BMW Serbia;
2) 140 Smart Samsung TVs – valued at US $ 100,000 – donated by the Republic of Korea;
3) Bottled water – donated by Knjaz Milos;
4) Promotional print material provided by Serbian Tourism Organization and Belgrade Tourism Organization;
5) Public Enterprise Serbian Post released a special edition of stamps particularly for this occasion to be presented as gifts to HoDs;
As regards the venue of the meeting, Kombank Arena has undergone significant changes to the interior whereby the premises were adapted into a conference centre to meet the needs of the Ministerial Council. Specifically, 10 meeting rooms, with a capacity of 1,700 seats, were constructed, and 11 premises on the ground floor were remodelled for bilateral meetings. Meeting rooms are fully equipped with the necessary audio and visual technical equipment including: 3,000 headsets, 650 microphones, 12 video beams, 130 LCD TVs, and 29 booths for interpreters. The Media Centre was also adapted by removing the partition wall and by installing interpretation equipment with booths for translation to 6 official languages. On levels2 and 4, 111 offices were built in wraparound corridors, while on level three, 70 boxes were turned into offices.
A total of 75 high class limousines has been provided for transporting heads of delegation, partly from donations and partly from the car park of the Serbian authorities. State institutions and public companies have provided some 150 vehicles of different classes. Additionally, 37 LASTA buses have been provided for the transport of delegation members from the Airport to the hotels, and from the hotels to Kombank Arena. In cooperation with the City of Belgrade, free city transport in City Transport vehicles will be provided for accredited delegates, between 30 November and 5 December.
Delegates will be accommodated in, and provided with the services of 19 hotels, the costs of which will be paid by the delegates. The accommodation of HoDs will be provided and paid by the host country.
A total of 170 liaison officers have been assigned to all delegations, i.e. 1, 2 or 3 liaison officers, respectively, depending on the size of the delegation. Liaison officers have been recruited from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Ministry of Interior, Ministry of Defence and other state bodies. Organizational assistance will also be provided by students of the Faculty of Law, Faculty of Political Science, Faculty of Organizational Sciences, CriminalPolice Academy, Military Academy, and other faculties, totalling 250.
One of the duties of the country hosting the conference is also to provide food for the delegates. Some 2,000 meals in buffet form will be served for the 5-day stay of members of the delegation in Belgrade. The meals will cost 1,200 dinars in the period from 30 November – 2 December, and will be free of charge from 2-4 December.
The host has an obligation to organize a reception for the delegates, with an appropriate artistic programme,on 3 December, which will take place in the National Assembly Building. At the same time, Prime Minister Aleksandar Vucic will be hosting a dinner for Heads of Delegation.