28 February, 2009
NEW YORK (ANA-MPA - P. Panagiotou)
Outlining Greece's priorities as the 2009 chair of the Organisation for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) on Friday, Foreign Minister Dora Bakoyannis stressed in her address to the UN Security Council that these centred on promoting peace, respect for human life and the principles of international law.
She urged a greater OSCE role and action in crisis management, involving closer cooperation with other international agencies, such as the United Nations. In terms of tackling the global economic crisis, especially, Bakoyannis underlined the need to “further enhance the partnership relationship between the OSCE and the UN”.
Referring to areas of OSCE activity, Bakoyannis pointed to the events in the Caucasus in 2008 and highlighted efforts being made by the Greek OSCE chair to ensure that a peace-keeping mission remained in the area and that the OSCE had a "more rounded" presence in the region.
She also marked the progress made in terms of mechanisms to manage the crisis through an agreement achieved in Geneva the previous week, saying that this was "a vital first step toward building confidence and a possible resolution of the dispute".
The OSCE contribution to bringing humanitarian aid to the region, including its assistance in overcoming problems with the supply of natural gas, was also highlighted by the minister.
While a large part of the OSCE's attention was fixed on the situation in Georgia, "this is not the only challenge we face in common," Bakoyannis added, who noted that restructuring the international presence in Kosovo was also high on the OSCE agenda.
The minister welcomed the Security Council's adoption of the UN Secretary-General's report on Kosovo of 24th November 2008, in which he underlined the "important role" of the OSCE in reconstruction and efforts for the peaceful coexistence of the communities in Kosovo.
The Greek OSCE chair will also seek to boost the organi-sation's action in terms of border security and policing, so that Afghanistan will continue to be a priority in 2009, Bakoyannis said and emphasised the importance of "preventative diplo-macy" in dealing with crises in central Asia.
Finally, she referred to the OSCE's role in combating terrorism, tackling climate change and the various aspects of migration, as well as efforts to boost the struggle to protect human rights and the rule of law, promote gender equality, religious freedom and the defend the right to education.