26 February 2014
Head of the OSCE outlines fields for increased cooperation with the UN
On 24 February 2014 Dieder Burkhalter, Chairperson-in-Office of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) and president of the Swiss Confederation, in a briefing to the UN Security Council, urged that security in Europe cannot be taken for granted, in light of the escalation of violence and political crisis in Ukraine.
Burkhalter proposed establishing an International Contact Group on Ukraine and outlined areas for increased cooperation between the OSCE and the UN. He stated that ‘regional organizations need to play a leading role in implementing on the ground the commitments undertaken in the context of the UN,’ and that ‘this is precisely why we have decided to focus our efforts on better implementation. International instruments for human rights, democracy and the rule of law as well as conventions and political commitments can only help improve people’s lives if their implementation is accepted and promoted by States at national level. Organizations like the UN and the OSCE should do everything possible to support States in these efforts.’ In a message to the OSCE’s 20th Ministerial Council, which took place in Kiev last December, the UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon stated that ‘the OSCE is a vital partner for the United Nations. I look forward to our continued cooperation, from immediate crises to longer-term issues such as combating climate change, eradicating poverty and shaping an ambitious sustainable development agenda for the post-2015 period.’