Message to Ministerial Council of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe

6 Dec 2012

Message to Ministerial Council of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe

DUBLIN, Ireland

Delivered by Mr. Miroslav Jenča, Special Representative of the Secretary-General, Head of the UN Regional Centre for Preventive Diplomacy for Central Asia

I am pleased to convey my greetings to the Ministerial Council of the OSCE. I join you in welcoming Mongolia, the newest participating state of the OSCE.

In line with our joint vision that security is more than the mere the absence of war, the United Nations and the OSCE cooperate on a wide range of issues relating to peace and security, development and human rights. I am confident we will continue to strengthen our collaboration.

Your internal review under "Helsinki+40" rightly underscores that rapidly changing global realities require both the UN and the OSCE to continuously review and adapt our institutions and approaches to best serve Member States and advance our shared goals.

This year, I launched my five-year action agenda in five key areas: sustainable development; preventing conflicts and disasters, human rights abuses and development setbacks; building a safer and more secure world; supporting nations in transition; and working for women and young people.

There is room and opportunity to work together in all of these areas. Today, let me briefly focus on two: prevention, and supporting nations in transition.

Our partnerships for prevention have yielded tangible results from South-Eastern Europe to the Caucasus and Central Asia.

For example, joint efforts by the United Nations Regional Centre for Preventive Diplomacy for Central Asia, OSCE and the EU helped promote peace in Kyrgyzstan. We must continue to work together for inter-ethnic reconciliation.

We work from the same foundation of understanding: Prevention starts with people.

Both UN and OSCE field work underscores the importance of looking beyond high-level political processes. Local populations need to be supported through people-to-people contacts that build trust and mutual respect.

I fully support your efforts to ensure a focus on women and young people in all aspects of our work. Let us strive to enhance our field-level cooperation in these indispensable areas.

Let us also deepen our work to assist nations in transition.

Tumultuous changes across the Middle East and North Africa and beyond remind us once again that the aspiration of democracy, human rights and dignity is universal.

As I say in every corner of the world, leaders first must listen. At the same time, the international community must remain attentive, particularly when leaders are deaf to the legitimate demands of their people and where citizens feel disenfranchised from political decision-making.

Democracy is both powerful and flexible. It can adapt to new realities. But it requires inclusive dialogue to shape it.

One size certainly does not fit all. But people in all countries have the same right to a life in freedom and prosperity.

Together, we can continue to help in the implementation of real and genuine reforms.

I commend the OSCE for supporting countries in the Middle East and North Africa through the Mediterranean Partner Countries framework and through its electoral work.

I am grateful for the vital contributions of the OSCE and for our ever-growing partnership. I count on you to help us achieve the future that we want and that the world's citizens deserve.