Speech/statement | Date: 19/05/2016 | Ministry of Foreign Affairs
State Secretary Elsbeth Tronstad's closing panel address at the OSCE Conference "Connectivity for Commerce and Investment" in Berlin 18-19 May.
Yesterday I participated in a session that dealt with the possible role of the OSCE in the protection of critical cross-border energy infrastructure. Based on case-studies from both energy importing and exporting countries like Poland, Azerbaijan, Croatia, Russia and Norway we identified a number of factors there would have a positive effect on such ifrastructure. There must be positive interaction between three forces: commercial actors, governments and technological development. Energy security is ensured through diversity of supplies, and stable demand. There must be transparent and predictable legal, financial and regulatory frameworks that lays the foundation for the building of infrastructure and securing commercial deals).
I will share with you some thoughts on what I see as a possible role of the OSCE in the protection of such cross-border infrastructure.
First is by increasing knowledge. This can be done by gathering information and analysing the vulnerabilties of cross border energy infrastructure. This includes gaining a better understanding of threats as diverse as cyber and terrorits attacks to gaining better understanding of how regulatory conditions affect such energy flows.
The second contribution can be to create a platform for dialogue and cooperation. This is exactly what Norway perceives to be one of the great comparative advantages of the OSCE; namely how it is able to connect different actors inside and between States and across regions. Or in other words to be a platform for dialogue that we use to find common solutions.
The OSCE can be useful in helping to raise the awareness of problems. This includes strengthening local government, building partnerships between the private and public sectors and working with non-governmental organizations.
The OSCE's focus should continue to be on activities related to capacity-building and awareness-raising as well as exchange of best practices.
The OSCE should help ensure that the dialogue between our societies does not break down – especially at a time when the political situation is difficult.
Finally, there may be a role for enhancing the OSCE's scope of action and adding new tools to our toolbox. So I want to add a third possible role as being an honest broker or facilitator in tense and difficult situations related to energy conflicts. OSCE could in such situation offer to complement efforts, for instance undertaken under the auspices of other international organisations like the Energy Charter secretariat. This could help to establish "facts on the ground" and offer dialogue on energy supply in crisis areas.
With these three points I thank you for your attention.