09 January, 2009
VIENNA (ANA-MPA / D. Dimitrakoudis)
The unique opportunity offered to Greece to take over the chairmanship of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) for 2009 was underlined by the head of Greece's permanent mission to the OSCE headquarters here, Amb. Mara Marinaki.
Marinaki referred to current OSCE issues and missions and the imminent address Greek Foreign Minister Dora Bakoyannis will deliver on Jan. 15 to outline the chairmanship's programme and priorities.
The Greek envoy underlined that Greece supports consensus in decision-making, the respect of international law and the non-negotiable principle of territorial integrity, pointing out that OSCE is the second largest international organization after the United Nations, with 56 members.
She also referred to Greece’s lengthy experience, as a NATO and EU member, over the last 60 and 30 years, respectively, and pointed out that it can contribute greatly to the settlement of ongoing disputes, stressing that the country joined the OSCE roughly 34 years ago.
Amb. Marinaki clarified that progress is being made in the issues of Nagorno-Karabakh and Upper Dniester-Moldova, while regarding Georgia she stated that the new circumstances should be taken into account before OSCE is involved in a future attempt to reach a settlement. On the OSCE mission in Georgia, she stated that it is in the process of shutting down due to the fact that its mandate was not renewed by Dec. 31, 2008, adding that “Greece intends to strengthen the organization’s presence in western Balkans to upgrade its role in the region”.
Greece took over the 2009 OSCE chairmanship on Jan. 1 from Finland and at the end of the year it will be passed on to Kazakhstan, the first country east of Vienna to chair the organization's rotating presidency.
Source: Athens News Agency