Minister of Foreign Affairs congratulates new leaders in OSCE

‘I would like to congratulate Helga Schmid on her appointment as Secretary General of the OSCE. I would also like to congratulate the newly appointed leaders of the OSCE’s three institutions, which are the organisation’s most important instruments for promoting human rights and democracy in the region,’ said Minister of Foreign Affairs Ine Eriksen Søreide.

The new Secretary General and the heads of the OSCE’s three autonomous institutions were formally appointed at the 27th Ministerial Council of the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE) in Tirana on 3-4 December. Matteo Mecacci (Italy) will be the new Director of the OSCE’s Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights (ODIHR), Kairat Abdrakhmanov (Kazakhstan) will be the new High Commissioner on National Minorities (HCNM) and Teresa Ribeiro (Portugal) has been appointed to the position of OSCE’s Representative on Freedom of the Media (RFOM).

‘With her extensive experience and strong qualifications, I am confident that Helga Schmid will do an excellent job of leading the OSCE Secretariat. We are also very pleased that all of the organisation’s executive structures will be led by highly competent leaders. Norway looks forward to continued cooperation to safeguard the security and basic human rights of everyone who lives in the OSCE region,’ said Ms Eriksen Søreide.

Helga Maria Schmid is German. She is currently Secretary General of the European External Action Service (EEAS). She is the first woman to be appointed Secretary General of the OSCE. She will head the OSCE Secretariat in Vienna, which assists the OSCE Chairmanship and provides support to 16 different field operations in Eastern Europe, Central Asia and the Western Balkans.