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Statement to the Ministerial Council of the OSCE

Norway's statement to the 29th Ministerial Council of the OSCE. (The statement was held by Director Lars Ragnar Hansen on behalf of the Minister.)

Anniken Huitfeldt på ministermøtet i OSSE.
Anniken Huitfeldt på ministermøtet i OSSE. Foto: Marte Lerberg Kopstad, UD

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Mr Chairman, distinguished colleagues,

The conflicts in our region pose a serious threat to international security and a challenge to the international order. 

The most important contribution the OSCE could make to regional security is to bring an end to the war in Ukraine and to other unresolved conflicts.

The OSCE commitments reflect our common values and are our common safety net.

They are part of a larger, rules-based order designed to maintain international peace and security.

Most participating states have spent the last 30 years improving compliance with OSCE principles.

However, some have failed to do so.

This year, one state in particular has shown a shocking and complete disregard for our principles.

Russia has breached all the principles and commitments it has signed up to. This includes the entire Helsinki Decalogue.

Colleagues,

In this situation, we must consider:

  • how we can live up to our principles

  • how we can better implement existing commitments across all three dimensions

  • and how to best address key challenges.

The OSCE is the right forum for discussing European security.

We must all engage in good faith, to seek common solutions to common challenges.

The way states view security in our region is influenced by their experience and geopolitical situation. We must be prepared to discuss concrete grievances and concerns.

However, differences of opinion and approach must not be allowed to undermine the OSCE and its institutions.

We must work together to secure adequate resources for the organisation. It will be important to increase the unified budget and to adopt it in a timely manner.

We must allow the OSCE to make full use of its toolbox, without unnecessary obstructions.

Colleagues,

Norway stands with Ukraine. Norway does not, and will not, recognise the illegal annexation of Ukrainian territory.

We remain steadfast in our commitment to international law, and to Ukraine’s sovereignty and territorial integrity.

Norway will remain true to its principles. We will uphold international law and our OSCE commitments.

In a changing world, we must adjust our policies, not our values.

Colleagues,

We must do everything we can to prevent backsliding on agreed principles.

Let me conclude by thanking Poland for steering the OSCE through murky waters in 2022.

We wish North Macedonia, the incoming chair, every success in the year ahead.

Thank you.