Thank you Mister Chair. I would like to thank you for convening this Millennium Plenary Meeting to mark the 1000th meeting of the Forum for Security Co-operation (FSC).
As we know, the FSC was created at the Helsinki Ministerial Conference thirty years ago. At the first meeting in Vienna, in September 1992, the FSC began its work by focusing on issues such as proliferation, transparency and the need for further confidence- and security-building measures
Over time, the FSC’s mandate has grown – notably at Budapest in 1994, Lisbon in 1996 and over the 2000s. Today, the FSC is a key decision making body for the OSCE on a range of important issues, including: arms control, disarmament and confidence- and security-building measures; security co-operation and conflict prevention; countering the proliferation of conventional and non-conventional weapons; and promoting the full, equal and meaningful participation of women.
Mr Chair, the FSC has achieved much. It has updated the Vienna Document in 1999 and most recently – over 11 years ago – in 2011. Another revision is long-overdue, but when it is properly implemented, the acquis provides States important tools to increase military transparency, reduce risk and help prevent unintended conflict. The FSC has adopted and improved on the landmark Code of Conduct (on Politico-Military Aspects of Security), which formulated key principles and commitments, on security relations between States, on the domestic democratic control of all armed and security forces and on the protection and promotion of human rights. In the field of SALW/SCA, the FSC has designed Best Practice Guides and supported the implementation of many projects to tackle this shared challenge. And the FSC has promoted the Women, Peace and Security Agenda in its work, notably in, but not limited to, SALW/SCA.
Mr Chair, The Forum for Security Cooperation continues to offer a genuine platform for participating States to address their security concerns, and for us to find a way forward together. And we need look no further than today on why this remains important. The exchanges at the FSC on Ukraine, and the invocation of the Vienna Document Mechanism (for Consultation and Co-operation as regards) on unusual Military Activities are yet further evidence that military transparency and our wider FSC acquis are more vital than ever. This Millennium Plenary session underlines our shared responsibility to live up to our FSC commitments in both letter and in spirit – and to once again engage with each other in good faith to ensure that we can work collectively towards trust, cooperation and success at our next landmark Plenary. The FSC continues to have our full support.
Thank you, Mr Chair, this concludes our statement.