Closer co-ordination between OSCE, Council of Europe would benefit all states, says OSCE Chairperson
March 5. OSCE. GENEVA
The OSCE and the Council of Europe work together well, but an even closer co-operation would be beneficial, said OSCE Chairperson-in-Office, State Secretary and Foreign Minister of Kazakhstan Kanat Saudabayev, following a high-level meeting with the Council of Europe Chairmanship and Secretariat in Geneva today.
OSCE Secretary General Marc Perrin de Brichambaut also took part in the meeting, while the Council of Europe was represented by Swiss Chair of the Committee of Ministers, Federal Councillor Micheline Calmy-Rey, and Secretary General Thorbjorn Jagland. They discussed the priorities of the two Chairmanships for the year, as well as co-operation between the OSCE and the Council of Europe, in particular with respect to field activities in Eastern Europe, South-Eastern Europe and the South Caucasus.
“The OSCE and the Council of Europe promote co-operation in priority areas such as fighting terrorism, combating human trafficking, promoting tolerance and non-discrimination and respect for the rights of national minorities – based on the shared values of human rights, democracy and the rule of law,” Saudabayev said.
“It is important that we co-ordinate our work, particularly in our field operations, to avoid unnecessary overlap and ensure that our activities are complementary, effective and beneficial to our states.”
Saudabayev reiterated the strong support of the Kazakh Chairmanship for the Corfu process – the OSCE-anchored dialogue that aims to restore confidence and take forward discussions on wider European security. Saudabayev said the Corfu process would be instrumental in preparing the groundwork for an OSCE summit this year, and he invited the Council of Europe to contribute to the agenda of such a summit.
Other fields of co-operation between the two organizations include election observation, legislation reform, Roma and Sinti issues, human rights, democratization and local government. The Council of Europe’s 47 member states are all OSCE participating States.