Secretary General Lamberto Zannier attends the 71st United Nations General Assembly
OSCE Secretary General Lamberto Zannier attended the high-level segment of the 71st session of the United Nations General Assembly in New York from 19 to 23 September 2016. During this visit, he had a series of bilateral meetings with foreign ministers, senior UN officials and regional organizations on the margins of the United Nations General Assembly. Zannier also addressed the first-ever United Nations Summit for Refugees and Migrants, which aimed to develop a more comprehensive and co-operative response to addressing large movements of refugees and migrants.
In his address to the Summit’s plenary meeting on 19 September, Secretary General Zannier reaffirmed the crucial, positive role that migration can play in the development of societies. He advocated for good migration governance to respond to both irregular migration flows and human trafficking and called for the promotion of tolerance and non-discrimination to strengthen inclusive societies and foster effective integration of newcomers.
“It is my belief that States should seize the initiative and use today’s Summit to set new global principles,” said Zannier. “As the largest regional arrangement under Chapter VIII of the UN Charter, the OSCE stands ready to work with other regional organizations and the UN to ensure the regional application of new global guidelines. As part of the Summit’s follow-up, we can explore a roadmap for regional organizations to act as gateways to global action.”
On 20 September, Zannier met with the Secretary General of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO), Jens Stoltenberg, to discuss the OSCE’s efforts to address the crisis in Ukraine and ways to resume the much-needed dialogue to revitalize the conventional arms control regime in Europe. Both Stoltenberg and Zannier agreed that engagement in the fields of military transparency and predictability are crucial to the future of European security, and restated their commitment to co-operation and dialogue among partner organizations.
On 22 September, Secretary General Zannier moderated a side event organized by the German OSCE Chairmanship on the margins of the UN General Assembly devoted to “The Force of Civilian Crisis Management: Strengthening the Capacities of the OSCE as a Chapter VIII Organization” which featured an interactive debate on strengthening the civilian peacekeeping capacities of the OSCE.
As the complexity of crisis management increases, the OSCE has significantly stepped up its crisis response operations, most visibly through its on-going civilian operations in Ukraine. But much more can be done.
Lamberto Zannier OSCE Secretary General
“As the complexity of crisis management increases, the OSCE has significantly stepped up its crisis response operations, most visibly through its on-going civilian operations in Ukraine,” Secretary General Zannier stated. “But much more can be done. I call on the OSCE participating States to further enhance the Organization’s capabilities in civilian crisis management and pledge to continue our close co-operation with the United Nations at the strategic and operational level.”
On 25 September, Zannier addressed the Ministerial Meeting of the Group of Friends of the UN Alliance of Civilisations titled “Combatting xenophobia through fostering inclusive dialogue”. He spoke about how xenophobia endangers peace and security, and called for action to confront intolerance directly by advancing dialogue and mutual understanding within communities.
We must focus on what unites us rather than what divides us, and spread the message that diverse societies are also strong and resilient societies that benefit all their members.
Lamberto Zannier OSCE Secretary General
“We need to move away from the defensive and alarmist tone that predominates today and reframe the debate with a different narrative that on the one hand recognizes and addresses the root causes of displacement, and on the other promotes tolerance for diversity,” stated Zannier. “We must focus on what unites us rather than what divides us, and spread the message that diverse societies are also strong and resilient societies that benefit all their members.”
Before his departure from New York, Secretary General Zannier paid a farewell visit to United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon. Secretary-General Ban praised the OSCE for all its efforts to address the Ukrainian crisis end encouraged it to keep up its active engagement on the political and operational front. Zannier thanked Secretary-General Ban for his exceptional commitment in promoting peace and security during his tenure in office. He reiterated the OSCE’s commitment to continuing to strengthen the well-established co-operation between the United Nations and the OSCE to address challenges to regional and global security.