May I, in turn, welcome the presence today at our Council meeting of the OSCE Chairperson-in-Office, Mr Eamon Gilmore, Irish Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade. Like her European partners, France shares the vision he set out and his determination to focus his efforts on a limited number of clearly identified priorities with a view to the Dublin Ministerial Council in December 2012.
The OSCE is a unique model of cooperation, founded on the conviction that developing the European continent’s security must go hand in hand with promoting human rights, democracy and the rule of law.
At the Astana Summit in 2010, member states made important commitments and reaffirmed their common objectives for regional security, economic and human development and respect for human rights. Threats to fundamental freedoms and human rights are a fact of life which concerns us and spurs us to act. In this respect, the revolutions in the Arab countries have come to remind us of the universality of these principles and we must ensure that these values are not jeopardized in Europe too.
From this standpoint, we support the Irish Chairmanship’s choice to highlight the human dimension and its determination to give priority to honouring the commitments undertaken in the field of human rights and particularly respect for basic freedoms on the Internet. Freedom of expression and freedom of the media are challenges which are also mobilizing the United Nations. In this respect, fruitful synergies can certainly be found between the two organizations.
We trust the Chair not to neglect the other dimensions covered by the OSCE.
In fact, from Central Asia to Afghanistan, including the Balkans, the OSCE has demonstrated that it was playing an essential role in resolving conflicts and promoting peace in the region. Indeed it showed its ability to act in concert with other regional organizations, as in Kyrgyzstan with the UN and European Union. From this point of view, the decision taken in Vilnius to strengthen the OSCE’s conflict prevention capabilities is a step forward it behoves us to confirm.
Encouraged by the resumption of the 5+2 talks on Transdniestria, we remain committed to the collective effort to resolve the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict, as co-chair of the Minsk Group. In 2008, the Georgia crisis also showed that war between two OSCE participating states was possible. So France is supporting the Geneva talks, which are another good example of cooperation between international organizations working for peace.
As regards the politico-military dimension, significant progress is expected in implementing a security community, such as that identified at the Astana summit. With this in mind, it is important to pursue the modernization of the Vienna Document. As an OSCE member state, France is ready to launch a debate on these issues and discuss them with the other states at the June 2012 Annual Security Review Conference. We also expect the OSCE to remain committed to combating transnational threats and more especially trafficking in human beings, organized crime, money laundering and corruption.
Finally, in a longer-term perspective, I want here to draw attention to the fact that at the Vilnius OSCE Ministerial Council on 7 December last year, France announced the launch of an initiative for a network bringing together French, German, Polish and Russian think-tanks to organize during the first half of 2012 four future planning seminars on implementing a Euro-Atlantic and Euro-Asian “security community”. The second seminar will be held in Paris in April.
I thank once again the Irish Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade for his participation in this meeting and assure him once more of our full support throughout his chairmanship.
We are counting on him to develop the links between the OSCE and UN in a manner consistent with our common objectives of peace, stability and security with due regard for human rights.