Protecting human rights and fundamental freedoms and making progress in resolving protracted conflicts are top priorities of his country’s OSCE Chairmanship, Ukrainian Foreign Minister Leonid Kozhara told the US Helsinki Commission at a hearing on 8 May in Washington D.C.
“Ukraine, as the Chairmanship-in-Office, is a consistent advocate of the OSCE concept of comprehensive, cooperative, equal and indivisible security,” he said. Highlighting Chairmanship events planned for this year on combating human trafficking, fostering media freedom and promoting tolerance and non-discrimination through youth education, he added: “We are convinced that the human dimension belongs to the core of the concept of comprehensive security.”
Minister Kozhara emphasized that making progress on protracted conflicts is crucial for the region’s security, which was why his first official visit as OSCE Chairperson had been to Moldova. “We hope that the results of current political process in Moldova will give a new impetus to further development of dialogue between Chisinau and Tiraspol, to which Ukraine remains ready to contribute.”
Speaking ahead of his planned visit to the South Caucasus from 17 to 20 June, the Chairperson expressed his support for the efforts of the Minsk Group Co-Chairs in promoting dialogue between Azerbaijan and Armenia on the settlement of Nagorno-Karabakh conflict and underlined the need “for a strict implementation of ceasefire”.
Countering the threat of proliferation of weapons of mass destruction, combating cybercrime and improving the environmental footprint of energy-related activities were other key issues that Ukraine was focusing on this year, he said.
The Chairperson stressed the importance of “strong engagement from the United States” as the 57 OSCE participating States work towards re-energizing the Organization’s effectiveness as part of the so-called “Helsinki+40” process in the run-up to the 40th anniversary of the Helsinki Final Act.