UNITED NATIONS, 28 September 2012 – The OSCE Chairperson-in-Office, Ireland's Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade, Eamon Gilmore, emphasized the importance of human rights in promoting peace and security in his address to the UN General Assembly today.
“If we are to live up to the aspirations of the UN charter, we must also assume the burden of eternal vigilance. The daily challenges to human rights are painfully obvious. Our response must be clear and unrelenting,” he told the General Assembly.
He highlighted Ireland’s work this year as Chair of the OSCE: “This has given us an opportunity to show leadership in the search for agreement across the full range of the OSCE’s activities. We have drawn on our own experience of building peace in Northern Ireland, to contribute to the work of the OSCE which seeks to find peaceful settlements to protracted conflicts.”
“I am hopeful that, by the end of our term in office, we will have been able to make progress in some key areas, including in the so-called “human dimension” of the OSCE and on some conflict issues.”
The OSCE Chairperson also held meetings with foreign ministers, including Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov, and the OSCE Ministerial Troika of Lithuania and Ukraine, the previous and upcoming OSCE chairs. He discussed preparations and plans for the Dublin Ministerial Council, which will take place on 6 and 7 December.
In addition, the Chairperson also attended a ministerial-level meeting on the “Helsinki +40” process, aimed at providing a strategic focus for the OSCE’s work until 2015, with the OSCE Troika and the 2014-2015 Chairmanships of Switzerland and Serbia.
OSCE Secretary General Lamberto Zannier, also at the UN General Assembly, where the OSCE is an observer, took part in the OSCE Troika and Helsinki +40 meetings and as well as meetings focusing on mediation and regional co-operation to support Afghanistan. He met with foreign ministers as well as senior officials from the UN and other international and regional organizations.
“Co-operation is a cornerstone of all the OSCE does, and we are committed to working with our UN and other partners to strengthen security in our region,” he said.
Zannier also gave an address at Columbia University to discuss the work of the OSCE towards building a Euro-Atlantic and Eurasian security community with international relations students and faculty.