Foreign and Commonwealth Office – 2020 Press Release on the Albanian Chairmanship to the OSCE Permanent Council

Below is a press release issued by the Foreign and Commonwealth Office on 09/01/2020.

Delivered by Ambassador Neil Bush at the OSCE Permanent Council on 9 January 2020 in response to a speech by Albanian Prime Minister Edi Rama.

Mr Chair, Ambassador Igli Hasani,

I align with the statement delivered on behalf of the EU and wanted to add some remarks in my national capacity.

We warmly welcome the Prime Minister to Vienna and thank him for outlining the priorities of the Albanian OSCE Chairmanship in 2020.

The UK is a strong proponent of the OSCE, which is a critical multilateral institution for European and Euro-Atlantic security. At the heart of the OSCE is conflict prevention and conflict resolution. These require a number of elements – upholding OSCE principles and commitments; having an effective early warning system; mediation; monitoring; and ensuring no abuse of power in individual countries.

We welcome your Chairmanship’s prioritisation of conflict resolution, including the work of the Special Monitoring Mission and the Trilateral Contact Group, as well as the resolution of the other protracted conflicts in the OSCE. We too attach great importance to the work of the OSCE’s field presences across the region.

As incoming Chair of the Security Committee – I would like firstly to thank Albania for this opportunity, and His Excellency the Prime Minister for identifying as priorities organised crime, countering violent extremism and cybersecurity. We will work with your delegation to finalise a work plan for the year and will brief the Permanent Council on this in February.

As chair of the Men Engage Network, I commend your focus on the 20th anniversary of UNSCR 1325 and the promotion of the role of women in peace and security. Nationally, we have identified as a priority, the need to increase the number of women mediating and meaningfully participating in peace processes. It is well known that this meaningful participation of women brings more informed decision-making and more sustainable results on the ground. It is key to achieving durable peace.

Preventing Sexual Violence in Conflict remains a top priority for the UK. Our aim is to tackle the stigma endured by survivors of sexual violence, secure justice for survivors and shatter the culture of impunity by bringing those responsible to account, as well as strengthen efforts to prevent sexual violence in conflict.

We also appreciate your planned focus on combating violence against women. A society where individuals enjoy the same opportunities, rights, obligations and security regardless of their gender should not only be an aspiration. We should all take tangible steps to achieve this.

We wish the CiO and the excellent team in Tirana the very best in the important year ahead in the OSCE. You can be assured of the UK’s support.