Monday, 21 September 2015. PDF Print E-mail
OSCE CiO Dacic in Warsaw at the Human Dimension Implementation Meeting
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warasaw 2190158Remarks by the OSCE Chairperson-in-Office, First Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs of Serbia H.E. Mr. Ivica Dačić at the Human Dimension Implementation Meeting held in Warsaw:
Ladies and Gentleman,
Distinguished participants,

It is my great pleasure to welcome you on behalf of the Serbia’s Chairmanship of the OSCE to the Human Dimension Implementation Meeting.

At the outset I would like to express my sincere gratitude to polish authorities as well as Director Link and his team at ODIHR for organizing this most important annual meeting within human dimension.

I would also like to welcome representatives of the OSCE participating States, Partners for cooperation, international organizations, civil society and academia.

As one of the largest annual human rights forums, Human Dimension Implementation Meeting is an excellent opportunity to review the implementation of commitments and exchange views on numerous issues in the area of human rights. At the same time, it is an important occasion to discuss emerging challenges that we are facing currently. And challenges are many.

As we all know, Serbia took over OSCE Chairmanship in extremely difficult moment for the whole OSCE area. Situation in and around Ukraine continues to pose a serious threat to European security. Throughout the year the Chairmanship, and the Organization as a whole, continued to do its utmost to support implementation of the Minsk agreements and to ensure the cessation of hostilities and to bring political process on track. These efforts included also engagement aimed at emphasizing the importance of upholding the OSCE human rights commitments. We also opened a debate on how to address the structural damage caused by the crisis in and around Ukraine to the European security system, at the core of which our Organization is embodied. We hope that by the Belgrade Ministerial Council in December we will have a clearer picture how to proceed in rebuilding trust within the OSCE and reaffirm its basic principles. Report of the Panel of Eminent Persons that was established by the Swiss Chairmanship last year will help us in that regard, we believe.

Speaking of challenges, in Europe these days we are witnessing increasing and extremely serious migrant crises. In the time when thousands of people are risking their lives leaving the countries affected by conflicts in the OSCE neighbourhood, we must not forget the human rights and humanitarian aspects of the migrant crisis. The response in that sense so far has been less than adequate, to say the least. Building fences, closing borders, using excessive force against people who are fleeing from devastating conflicts is not a response in line with human rights commitments participating States of this Organization undertook to respect, nor other international human rights norms and standards. We have to, therefore, stand for respecting human rights for all, especially having in mind that in the times of conflicts and crisis the fundamental human rights are the ones most affected.

The Republic of Serbia is among the countries affected by the huge wave of migrants coming from war-torn areas. We have put all our efforts to respond adequately to the current crisis.

Ladies and Gentlemen,

This year we are marking 40 anniversary of the Helsinki Final Act. This was the first time that respect for human rights and fundamental freedoms were included in a regional security agreement. Not as an annex, but on par with politico-military considerations. The Helsinki Final Act also established that citizens had the right to know and act upon their rights. It provided a major starting point for the development of civic and civil society engagement throughout the OSCE area.

Contributions given by civil society organizations remain highly important in enhancing human rights protection. I expect this year’s Human Dimension Implementation meeting will provide us a good basis for fruitful discussion among participating States and with civil society on our common challenging agenda.

As recognised in Astana Declaration civil society organisations have over the past four decades played an invaluable and indispensable role in monitoring governments’ respect of their commitments, for the benefit and security of all. Nowhere is this more visible than at HDIM.

The role of the civil society remains high on the agenda during our two Swiss and Serbian consecutive Chairmanships. For example, both countries carried out self-evaluation of the implementation of their OSCE commitments in cooperation with civil society. Therefore, I would like to use this opportunity to personally thank all of you here for your tireless efforts and contributions.

Ladies and gentlemen,

During our Chairmanship of the OSCE, Serbia has been devoted to further updating and strengthening the implementation of OSCE commitments in all three dimensions. In the third dimension we have payed special attention to the rule of law, national human rights institutions, freedom of expression and freedom of the media, including safety of journalist, freedom of religion or belief, freedom of assembly and association, protection of rights of persons belonging to national minorities and promotion of tolerance and non-discrimination.

Serbia’s Chairmanship started preparing deliverables for the Belgrade Ministerial Council earlier than usually, in order to have enough time for inclusive and constructive debate among delegations. With this respect, I would like to encourage delegations to engage in that discussion in a constructive manner, underlying that our main goal should be adoption of substantive documents rather than the big number of decisions just reconfirming existing commitments. Your contributions and concrete recommendations will be valuable for our future steps towards Ministerial Council, to be held in Belgrade on 3-4 December.

Before concluding, I would like to underline important role of the OSCE institutions, especially having in mind that only strong and professional institutions with adequate financial and human resources are able to assist participating States in implementing their OSCE commitments. Therefore, we have to create necessary conditions for fulfilment of their respective mandates.

At the very end, let me thank once again to the distinguished representatives of the OSCE Institutions and Executive Structures for their support and fruitful cooperation.

Thank you.“