Slovakia to focus on Ukraine conflict during OSCE chairmanship

Slovakia has taken on the role of chairperson of the Organisation for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE), the world’s largest security-oriented intergovernmental organisation.

“The Slovak 2019 OSCE Chairmanship aims to be ambitious in promoting dialogue, trust and stability in the OSCE area, and in supporting the good functioning of the organisation. But we also have to be realistic: challenges and complexities are rife. Any further deterioration in the safety and lives of people in our societies is unjustifiable,” said Slovak Minister of Foreign and European Affairs Miroslav Lajčák.

The Slovak Chairmanship will focus on three areas for action in 2019: preventing, mediating and mitigating conflict while focusing on the people it affects; providing for a safer future; and promoting effective multilateralism.

“The ongoing crisis in and around Ukraine is one of the most critical issues for our common security,” said Mr Lajčák. “Slovakia will actively engage in all efforts to reduce tensions, build trust and facilitate dialogue. During our Chairmanship, we will work towards much-needed improvements in the living conditions of the affected population through targeted projects. We will support the full implementation of existing commitments, including those to fully respect the ceasefire and withdraw heavy weapons. Ensuring safe and unimpeded access for the OSCE Special Monitoring Mission is essential.“

Mr Lajčák added that “rapid technological change, digitalisation and innovation offer vast opportunities, but can also pose challenges. To provide a secure future for all, we must ramp up our efforts to engage with youth; strengthen tolerance and non-discrimination; use the OSCE toolbox to prevent radicalisation and violent extremism leading to terrorism; promote sustainable development; and manage enhanced connectivity and cyber security.”

The OSCE Chairmanship is held for one calendar year by the OSCE state designated as such by the organisation’s ministerial council. The function of the Chairperson-in-Office (CiO) is exercised by the foreign minister of that state.