VIENNA, 12 January 2012 – Today the Irish Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade Eamon Gilmore addressed the OSCE Permanent Council in Vienna for the first time in his role as OSCE Chairperson-in-Office. Deputy Prime Minister Gilmore emphasised the need for the OSCE’s co-operative, inclusive approach in tackling modern security challenges.
“The profound political and economic transformations which we are witnessing today in various parts of the globe demonstrate once again the need for effective multilateralism, as do a number of ongoing regional conflicts and the growth in transnational security challenges,” he said, adding that an important task of the Chairmanship would be to identify “common priorities which will help us to build on the unique strengths of the OSCE and to develop the specific contribution which the Organization can make to tackling these global challenges”.
Presenting Ireland’s priorities for 2012, Deputy Prime Minister Gilmore said the Chairmanship would maintain a balanced approach in addressing the politico-military, economic and environmental, and human dimensions of security.
Emphasizing that “the continuing threat to fundamental freedoms and human rights in a number of OSCE participating States is a cause of real concern,” Deputy Prime Minister Gilmore said that the full implementation of OSCE human dimension commitments by OSCE participating States is a top priority. A specific area of focus during the Irish Chairmanship will be the importance of protecting freedom of expression in the digital age, and working with civil society organizations and business to safeguard these freedoms online.
Deputy Prime Minister Gilmore stressed the need to “chart a path in the politico-military dimension”, and said the Irish Chair would focus on the areas of arms control, conflict prevention and resolution, and transnational threats.
A further priority for Ireland will be to seek ways to make progress towards lasting settlements of protracted conflicts in the OSCE area. Deputy Prime Minister Gilmore welcomed the resumption of the official 5+2 talks in the Transdniestrian settlement process, and offered his full support for the Minsk Group Co-Chairs to address the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict and for the Geneva Discussions dealing with the August 2008 conflict in Georgia.
“We in Ireland know all too well the devastating cost of conflict. Through negotiation, compromise and the dedication and imagination of the two Governments involved, and leaders on both sides of the divide, a lasting settlement was achieved in relation to Northern Ireland.”
“This experience may be of benefit in facilitating the efforts which are needed to resolve outstanding conflicts in the OSCE region, using the tools of peaceful negotiation and agreed formats and respecting fully the principles of international law.”
“While each conflict situation is different, I hope that in sharing our experience we will assist and encourage those engaged in seeking lasting settlements to conflicts in our region.”
In the economic and environmental dimension of the OSCE’s work, Ireland will promote security and stability through good governance, with a particular focus on measures to counter corruption, money laundering and terrorist financing.
The Permanent Council is one of the OSCE's main regular decision-making bodies. It convenes weekly in Vienna to discuss developments in the OSCE area and to make decisions. The Deputy Prime Minister also appointed the Special and Personal Representatives of the Chairperson in Office for 2012.