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Statement by Ambassador Kelly at UNSC Briefing on the OSCE

Madam President,


I would like to thank Minister Linde for briefing us on her priorities as Chairperson-in-Office of the OSCE in 2021. I want to assure the Minister of Ireland’s full support in her important role.


Listening to the Minister’s briefing, I was very struck by the close links between the work of the OSCE, the work of this Council and the wider UN. It is a reminder that the importance of multilateral cooperation in the face of our common challenges simply cannot be overstated.


As a founding member of the OSCE, Ireland regards the organisation as a vital instrument for European stability and security. We greatly value the OSCE’s work on conflict resolution and prevention, its activities on human rights and its regional role as well.


The OSCE’s comprehensive approach to security is as pertinent and relevant as ever - respect for human rights, the rule of law and economic progress are all essential elements for sustaining peace and prosperity. We look forward to working closely with the Chairperson-in-Office to ensure strong, complementary partnerships between the UN and the OSCE.


We strongly support the priorities you have outlined this morning, in particular your efforts to strengthen gender equality in all aspects of the OSCE’s work, including through seeking women’s economic empowerment and supporting the meaningful implementation of the Security Council’s resolutions on Women, Peace and Security in the OSCE region, including through dialogue with women peacebuilders and civil society representatives.


Indeed, Women, Peace and Security is a priority for Ireland in our work on the Security Council, including as Co-Chair of the Informal Expert Group on WPS. The truth is that neither the OSCE nor the Security Council can successfully address peace and security challenges without the full, equal and meaningful participation of women – at all stages – in the prevention and resolution of conflicts, and in peacebuilding. Like you Minister, we believe that the UN and regional organisations such as the OSCE have a special responsibility to lead the way in these efforts and should work together to reinforce each other’s messages. 


In Ukraine, for example, we have seen how women on the ground are playing a central role in peacebuilding efforts. Ensuring space for those women and civil society in the peace process will be key to delivering effective and sustainable conflict resolution.


Let me say as well that Ireland is a firm supporter of Ukraine’s sovereignty and territorial integrity and we call for full implementation of the Minsk Peace Agreements. We remain seriously concerned too by the humanitarian situation in Ukraine. During our discussion at Council on 11 February, we heard worrying information regarding the humanitarian impact on civilians of the almost complete closure of crossing points along the Line of Contact.  We call again today like others for the Shchastia and Zolote Entry-Exit Crossing Points to become fully operational, and for all currently closed EECPs to be re-opened to avoid exacerbating the acute humanitarian crisis.


Madam President,


Ireland strongly supports Sweden’s intention to keep conflict prevention and resolution at the top of the OSCE’s agenda. The Chair has already demonstrated this commitment through her recent visits, including to Georgia, where we commend her focus on the incident prevention mechanism and on people-to-people links between Tbilisi and the breakaway republics. Ireland also commends Sweden’s focus on the Transnistrian settlement and plans for holding 5+2 talks.


Madam President,


We were reminded last autumn of the tragic human cost of conflict in the region, when we saw a return to hostilities in Nagorno-Karabakh. Ireland welcomes the cessation of hostilities between Armenia and Azerbaijan. It is essential that both sides now engage, under the OSCE Minsk Co-Chairs, to find a sustainable solution to the issues around Nagorno-Karabakh.


In closing, let me conclude by assuring you once again Minister Linde of Ireland’s steadfast support for your important work.


Thank you very much Madam President.

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