VILNIUS/VIENNA, 30 June 2011 – Ambassador Lamberto Zannier of Italy has been appointed the new OSCE Secretary General through a unanimous Ministerial Council decision by the 56 participating States, announced the OSCE Chairperson-in-Office, Lithuanian Foreign Minister Audronius Ažubalis, today.
“I am pleased to announce that after careful consideration, my fellow OSCE Foreign Ministers and I have chosen Lamberto Zannier to take the helm of this important Organization,” said Ažubalis.
“It is a critical time for OSCE participating States as we must address existing security challenges, including protracted conflicts in the region, prepare ourselves to effectively face new and emerging threats, and assume our wider responsibilities to support our partner countries, including Afghanistan and states in North Africa,” he emphasized. “The OSCE Secretary General must support and advance these efforts, and I am confident Ambassador Zannier’s experience and expertise will serve us well over the next years.”
A career diplomat, Zannier was the Director of the OSCE Conflict Prevention Centre from 2002 to 2006. Since June 2008 he has served as UN Special Representative for Kosovo and the Head of the United Nations Interim Administration Mission in Kosovo.
“I am honoured to assume the post of Secretary General of this Organization that I know well and that has a key role to play in promoting our shared values and combating common security threats,” said Zannier, who will begin his duties on 1 July. “I look forward to working with the OSCE participating States to address these challenges.”
The OSCE Secretary General acts as the representative of the Chairperson-in-Office, and as the OSCE’s Chief Administrative Officer. He or she is appointed by the Ministerial Council for a period of three years, and may be renewed for a further term.
Ažubalis thanked departing Secretary General Marc Perrin de Brichambaut for six years of service: “Your dedicated engagement has helped steer us through complex challenges and strengthen our security dialogue. At the OSCE Astana Summit in December, you and your team provided the expertise and guidance that helped us reach agreement on a shared vision for the free, democratic, common and indivisible Euro-Atlantic and Eurasian security community, which will continue to underpin all we do.”
Minister Ažubalis also presented an award to Perrin de Brichambaut for his contribution to comprehensive security and dialogue in the OSCE region.
Perrin de Brichambaut said: “I leave this indispensable Organization just as enthusiastic and committed to its values and work as when I assumed the post of Secretary General six years ago. It is of great comfort to me that the OSCE Secretariat is in Lamberto Zannier’s capable hands, and I wish him and the OSCE every success.”