Global perspective Human stories

Trust must be rebuilt to address Ukraine crisis, European security entity tells at UN

OSCE Chairperson-in-Office Briefs Security Council.
UN Photo/Eskinder Debebe
OSCE Chairperson-in-Office Briefs Security Council.

Trust must be rebuilt to address Ukraine crisis, European security entity tells at UN

Peace and Security

The conflict in eastern Ukraine is testing the core shared values, and the only way to rebuild trust between warring parties is “more dialogue, more political will and more concrete action on the ground,” the chairperson of an European intergovernmental security organization told the United Nations Security Council on Thursday.

In his report to the Council, Angelino Alfano, Chairperson-in-Office for the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE), said that the OSCE expects new steps to be taken for the implementation of the Minsk Agreements, a package of measures aimed at ending the conflict, which began in 2014. 

That’s why his first mission as OSCE Chairman-in-Office included visits to the capitals of both Ukraine and Russia, as well as Donbass, where the fighting is taking place, said Mr. Alfano, who is also Minister for Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation of Italy.

The OSCE, consisting of 57 participating States mostly from Europe and Central Asia, addresses a wide range of security-related concerns, including arms control, confidence- and security-building measures, human rights, national minorities, democratization, policing strategies, counter-terrorism and economic and environmental activities.

Noting that the OSCE Special Monitoring Mission to Ukraine was a crucial instrument to avoiding a dangerous escalation of the crisis, he said that both Ukraine and Russia acknowledge “the need for a UN support mission” and that such a mission should be coordinated with the OSCE.

Beyond the crisis in Ukraine, the OSCE focuses on so-called protracted conflicts, he said.  Regarding Georgia, he supported the Geneva international discussions and was ready to promote dialogue also through informal initiatives.

On Nagorno-Karabakh, he continued to support the work of the Minsk Group Co-Chairs for a definitive and shared solution.  In Transnistria, the positive momentum needed to be built upon.  In 2017, in the framework of OSCE, the Mediterranean Conference of Palermo was organized.

Mr. Alfano also said that the OSCE is also dedicating attention to transnational threats, such as terrorism, radicalization, illicit trafficking of arms, drugs, cultural goods and hazardous waste; the links between terrorism and organized crime; international money laundering; and the sources of funding of terrorist groups. 

Cybersecurity is another priority, he added, noting that the OSCE is promoting initiatives to increase awareness of decision makers and the private sector on how the Internet could impact peace and security. 

Defending human dignity is essential to “our liberty, and is “a rooted value both at the United Nations and at OSCE,” he said.