The OSCE is ready to co-operate with its Asian Partners in promoting democracy and human rights to contribute to broader security in the region, Janez Lenarčič, the Director of the OSCE Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights (ODIHR), told the OSCE-Thailand Conference in Chiang Mai on 14 February 2012.
Lenarčič spoke about the OSCE’s experience in promoting the human dimension of security, noting that human rights are no longer seen as mere annexes to national security issues.
“The symbiotic linkage between human rights and democracy on one hand, and peace and stability on the other, has been recognized by each and every state that belongs to the OSCE,” he said.
Lenarčič added that the OSCE possesses a powerful incentive for compliance with its Commitments: peer review.
“A lesson that may be transferable to a regional system of human rights promotion in Southeast Asia is that persuasion works,” he said.
Referring to the complex security challenges in the Asia-Pacific region, the OSCE’s human rights chief praised Thailand’s efforts to create a genuine security community that includes human rights and democracy issues. He added that ODIHR was eager to share its accumulated experience with an Asian regional human rights institution, something he hopes will be established soon.