OSCE Chairman-in-Office: “Peaceful solution to the conflicts in OSCE area should be our important duty” - INTERVIEW

OSCE Chairman-in-Office: “Peaceful solution to the conflicts in OSCE area should be our important duty” - <font color=red> INTERVIEW </font>
# 24 January 2011 12:06 (UTC +04:00)
- How do you see Lithuanian presidency in OSCE? Will the duties be fulfilled?

- Lithuania took over the OSCE presidency from Kazakhstan on January 1, 2011 and it has concrete purposes. In the OSCE Astana Summit, member countries urged Lithuania to organize the organization’s activity taken into consideration ideas and proposals made within the Corfou process (informal European security dialogue) and during the preparation for the Astana summit as well. The results will be discussed at the OSCE Foreign Ministers Council meeting in Vilnius on December 6-7 this year. I believe we will achieve serious progress toward the solution to frozen conflicts, better assessment of fulfillment of commitments in the field of freedom of mass media and strengthening of OSCE’s role against the transnational threats. In the economic-environmental plan, we intend to characterize the OSCE’s energy security role more exactly. We are planning educative measures to develop the idea of tolerance for prevention of discrimination and other crimes based on abhorrence. We will focus attention on the real aspects where we can achieve considerable results. We will consider any minimal progress achieved until the end of our presidency and year as a success.

- The frozen conflicts are among the priorities of Lithuanian presidency. How will Lithuania support solution to these conflicts, particularly Nagorno Karabakh conflict?

-There are unresolved conflicts in OSCE area and we are decisive to overcome these problems. Early in 1990s, OSCE supported restoration of stability and security in the South-Eastern Europe torn by the conflicts. We believe that we can together achieve success in the solution to frozen conflicts. The peaceful solution to frozen conflicts in OSCE area should be our important duty. We will not attempt to reinvent the wheel, but basing on the positive results achieved by previous chairmen we will promote the conflicted sides, countries to work within the coordinated formats and according to the international norms and OSCE commitments. During the Astana summit, heads of delegations of the OSCE Minsk Group co-chair countries, as well as Azerbaijani and Armenian presidents stated that it is time to make stronger efforts to solve the Nagorno Karabakh conflict. We will promote transparency that will help to strengthen mutual confidence and to reduce tensions. We will support the co-chairs’ efforts to revive political negotiations on the solution to Nagorno Karabakh conflict.

-The OSCE summit held in December, 2010, showed that lack of unity inside the organization impedes the adoption of decisions. Do you see in this context the resolution of these conflicts and opportunity to maintain the current format on the resolution of Nagorno Karabakh conflict?

-The protracted conflicts prevented us from agreeing on the action plan in Astana. We intend to work with all conflicting sides. We believe that it is possible to achieve progress in this process through common efforts, peace talks and constructive compromise.

-You plan to visit South Caucasus. When will you visit the region? What is the aim of the visit, what meetings will be held?

-I plan to visit the South Caucasus region (Georgia, Azerbaijan, Armenia) in the third week of March. I am going to meet with heads of state, foreign ministers of these countries.

-Experts often say that OSCE has become old and lost its previous influence. What do you think about it? What is Lithuania going to do to increase the efficiency of the organization?

-Of course, within 35 years after Helsinki Final Act was signed the relations among the members of the then OSCE changed. The threats to security have not been eliminated and new transnational threats have been added to them. Terrorism, human trafficking, organized crimes, cybercrimes have spread. It requires common efforts of the member states, regional and international organizations to react efficiently to these new challenges. The member states turn the OSCE into an organization, which they want to see. In order to reach its goals Lithuania as a chairing country intends to use its unique experience in the regional cooperation. We are ready to review the member states’ proposals aiming to improve the work of the organization.