Serbia as 2015 Chairmanship to work on crisis resolution, water governance, youth and security, Foreign Minister tells OSCE Permanent Council
VIENNA, 15 July 2014 – Addressing crises and conflicts in the OSCE region, advancing regional co-operation with a special focus on Western Balkans, stepping up work on youth and security and promoting water governance are among the priorities of the incoming Serbian Chairmanship in 2015, First Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister of Serbia Ivica Dačić told OSCE participating States today.
He underlined the “unique” nature of the consecutive Chairmanships of Switzerland in 2014 and Serbia 2015, and said that the two countries, working in a concerted manner, “have established a real partnership which could serve as an example and perhaps as a model for the future”. With 2015 marking the 40th anniversary of the signing of the Helsinki Final Act, the key document of the OSCE, Dačić stressed the commitment of Serbia to continue the “Helsinki+40” process to reform and guide the Organization.
Action taken by the OSCE and the Swiss Chairmanship to address the Ukraine crisis provided important initial steps, Dačić said. He stressed the need to achieve sustainable cessation of hostilities to pave way for an inclusive national dialogue and stabilization of the situation. He expressed his full support for the work of the Special Monitoring Mission in Ukraine and for the extension of its mandate without delay. He also stressed the need for an early decision on deployment of OSCE border observers.
“As incoming Chairmanship, we will invest all our efforts in strengthening the OSCE role in Ukraine,” he said.
The 2015 Serbian Chairmanship will pay particular attention to the Western Balkans, with a focus on regional co-operation and reconciliation as part of conflict rehabilitation, Dačić said. He reiterated Serbia’s “full commitment to the EU-led dialogue between Belgrade and Pristina and to the implementation of all arrangements based on the Brussels agreement of April 2013”. Dačić said he intended to visit all OSCE field presences, including the OSCE Mission in Kosovo.
On protracted conflicts, the Serbian Chairmanship will continue to support all agreed established formats and promote mediation activities, he said, stressing that “regardless of our Organization’s efforts, ideas and proposals, the main responsibility lies with the parties involved”.
The unprecedented catastrophic floods in the Balkans justify the need to further promote water governance and disaster risk reduction, and this will be the main topic of the Serbian Chairmanship’s work in the economic and environmental dimension in 2015, Dačić said.
Youth must be put higher on the OSCE agenda, the Minister noted, proposing the development of an Action Plan on Youth and Security as the foundation of the OSCE’s work in the future. He added that the Serbian Chairmanship’s work to address transnational threats will also be carried out from the perspective of crime prevention and protection of young people.
“We have to work on rebuilding trust and confidence among participating States,” Dačić said. He stressed that the incoming Serbian Chairmanship would continue to engage in the process to strengthen the visibility and effectiveness of the OSCE and to increase security and stability in its region.