Ukraine: OSCE must continue to fully play its role ensuring successful implementation of Minsk Agreements (02/24/2015) [fr]
Briefing by the Chairperson-in-Office of the OSCE- Statement by Mr. François Delattre, Permanent Representative of France to the United Nations - Security Council - 24 February 2015
I welcome the presence of Mr. Ivica Dačić, Minister for Foreign Affairs of Serbia, and thank him for his briefing. I congratulate his country on his accession to the chairmanship-in-office of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) in 2015.
Exactly one year ago, we addressed the situation in Ukraine for the first time in the Security Council (see S/PV.7117). The crisis that had begun there required the OSCE to play its full role, as it was in a unique position to overcome the concerns of all involved. In the circumstances, the OSCE was able to assume its full responsibility by deploying the Special Monitoring Mission and becoming a party to the Minsk agreements, which were signed by OSCE Special Representative Heidi Tagliavini.
Faced with a security and humanitarian situation that remains alarming, we have a collective responsibility to spare no effort in silencing the weapons and achieving an agreement. That was the objective of the approach chosen by the German Chancellor and the President of the French Republic a few weeks ago. Last week, in adopting resolution 2202 (2015), the Council endorsed the Minsk agreements, putting its full weight and authority behind the commitments undertaken by the parties. The OSCE must continue to play its full role by ensuring the good faith implementation of all of the Minks agreements, which now from part of a Council resolution.
Yesterday the OSCE received the document that was agreed to by both the Ukrainians and the separatists, which disclosed the details with regard to the withdrawal of heavy weapons. The agreement is a first positive step in terms of implementing that element of the Minks agreements. It must be immediately implemented with the full involvement of the OSCE Special Monitoring Mission to Ukraine, which will have to control, verify and monitor the withdrawal of heavy weapons. Its role cannot be limited to joint patrols along the line of contact, as requested by the ceasefire control commission, according to information transmitted by the parties.
This morning in Paris, at a Normandy format meeting of the Ministers for Foreign Affairs of Ukraine, Russia, Germany and France, the four Ministers asked that the OSCE Special Monitoring Mission be strengthened and its mandate extended with additional personnel, equipment and financing. It is quite normal that the OSCE should be able in this task to count on United Nations support. After all, the United Nations possesses the necessary expertise and recognized capacities. Channels already exist for both organizations to offer each other mutual support. We stand ready to assist both organizations in exploring ways to improve that cooperation. Chapter VIII of the Charter of the United Nations provides an ideal format for that dialogue, which the Council has successfully used in other circumstances.
Above and beyond Ukraine, cooperation between the OSCE and the United Nations covers a broad field of action and various situations — from Central Asia to Bosnia to Georgia and Kosovo — in which the OSCE and the United Nations have demonstrated their ability to work together harmoniously. That complementarity is primarily based on the multidimensional concept of security held by the OSCE. Through its field missions, the OSCE is present in the Balkans, the Caucasus and CentralAsia, and it often works alongside the United Nations in a number of areas.
In the Balkans, the OSCE, in full cooperation with the United Nations Interim Administration Mission in Kosovo, enabled voters in Kosovo to participate peacefully in the elections of June 2014. In addition, we support the priority Serbia has granted to water management, a central issue in an area affected by flooding. The OSCE will tackle that issue during a forum on economic and environmental issues.
In the Caucasus, the OSCE works to promote dialogue and confidence-building. France is especially committed as a co-Chair of the Minsk Group, alongside the United States and the Russian Federation, and stands ready to help Armenia and Azerbaijan to find a peaceful solution to the conflict in Nagorno Karabakh. We take note of the commitment of the Serbian Chairperson-in-Office to contribute to the task by promoting dialogue between the parties.
Concerning Georgia, France has lent its support to the Geneva talks, in which a very important role is played by the OSCE, side by side with the European Union and the United Nations. We reaffirm our support for the territorial integrity of Georgia and reject the reconciliation agreements signed with the separatist regions of Abkhazia and South Ossetia. We urge the parties not to undermine, by any further actions or words, the dialogue format that has been established. We also welcome the willingness of the Serbian chairmanship-in-office to relaunch a discussion on the OSCE presence on the ground, the institutional organization of which remains to be determined.
Beyond all those issues, we welcome Serbia’s determination to fully exploit the capacities of OSCE field missions to ensure that assistance is tailored to the host country’s needs and provided in a cost-effective and environmentally friendly manner.
Secondly, reflections on the political-military aspects within the OSCE framework contribute to an overall improvement in security, of which the Council remains the cornerstone. We welcome the commitment of the Serbian chairmanship-in-office following Switzerland’s chairmanship, to modernize the 2011 Vienna Document on confidence-building measures and strengthening security. At the same time, we welcome its intention to update the OSCE code of conduct on political-military aspects, which are essential to ensure democratic control of armed and security forces.
We note with satisfaction the desire of the Serbian chairmanship to continue discussions on the issues of reform and governance of security systems, which are also being evaluated at the United Nations. Similarly, we impatiently await the events organized by the Serbian chairmanship on the fight against transnational threats, a topic on which the Council has also been seized.
The future of the OSCE and its dialogue with the United Nations will be marked this year by an important commemoration, the fortieth anniversary of the Helsinki Accords. France fully supports the dialogue initiated at the ministerial meeting in Dublin on the political future of the OSCE within the framework of the Helsinki+40 process. France subscribes to the analysis of the Serbian chairmanship on the need to strengthen efforts in the areas of of the rule of law, the freedom of expression, the freedom of the media and the protection of national minorities, all issues that the participating States of the OSCE have been working on for 40 years.
The OSCE covers a vast area from Vancouver to Vladivostok, an area of shared values, marked by the conviction that Euro-Atlantic and Eurasian security are closely linked with the promotion of human rights, democracy and the rule of law. All those values are also at the very heart of the United Nations. I wish to reiterate to Serbia our wishes for success during its tenure and to ensure it of France’s support.