EU President: International Community Needs To Do More To Resolve Pr


18.07.2008 18:52 GMT+04:00

The OSCE is an indispensable and dynamic organization working for
security in its region, French Foreign Minister Bernard Kouchner told
the OSCE Permanent Council today in Vienna.

Kouchner, speaking on behalf of the French EU presidency, said that
the international community needed to do more to resolve protracted
conflicts, engage in Central Asia and Afghanistan, and support the
work of the OSCE in Kosovo.

The Minister emphasized that the OSCE was the right forum to discuss
Russian President Dmitry Medvedev’s recent proposal for a European
security pact.

"I know the discussions that are ongoing in the Organization. We
have all listened to President Medvedev’s proposal for a pact on
European security. Since the first meeting, the OSCE has always been
the place to have a debate on security, as we say spanning the area
from Vancouver to Vladivostok," he said.

"It is crucial that these debates continue here in Vienna. These
debates have to be closely linked to the debates that are ongoing in
the EU, not just because the EU represents half the OSCE but because
the two share the same values and principles."

On the region’s protracted conflicts, Kouchner said that the situation
in Georgia is increasingly tense. "We need to be more innovative and
more dynamic, building new visions," he said.

The Minister also welcomed the OSCE’s proposals for projects to enhance
engagement with Afghanistan. He emphasized that the security of the
country needed to be guaranteed to give the people of Afghanistan
access to these projects.

Kouchner called on the participating States to uphold the founding
principles of the OSCE and support its institutions, including the
Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights.

"The OSCE was based on the conviction that security went hand
in hand with the promotion of human rights and democracy," he
said. "We should not lose sight of this historic vision, which is
the essential principle of our Organization, and also underpins the
European Union. It is this principle that makes up our identity,
not just for European citizens but for the whole world."

He warned, however, that there was a "roll back" in the protection of
human rights and democracy in this region and elsewhere. "I know there
is a regression and this is not acceptable, and we have to be very
cautious about this current drift," he said, the OSCE communication
unit reports.