NEW YORK, FEBRUARY 22 – “The crisis in and around Ukraine continues to be a major source of tension and instability in Europe. Sadly, it has marked the return of geopolitics on the OSCE agenda and it is challenging our model of co-operation. Inter-state relations are now more than ever before governed by a zero-sum mentality that we hoped we had left behind. In too many parts of the OSCE region, we still find conflicts and competition continuing, re-emerging and developing, both locally and regionally”, Lamberto Zannier, the Secretary-General of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE), told the UN Security Council during a debate on the conflicts in Europe.
OSCE strongly supports the Un Secretary General’s Antonio Guterres “surge in the diplomacy for peace” and a comprehensive approach in conflict prevention that marries peace and security, sustainable development and human rights, Zannier said.
“Effective conflict prevention and resolution require building strong coalitions not only among international organizations, but also with civil society and the private sector. The inclusion of women in all stages of the conflict cycle is key. The OSCE has developed structures and policies to help its membership implement UNSC resolution 1325 and ensure that women form a natural part of our peace- building efforts”, The OSCE SG added, stressing how peace and security in Europe are at the core of both the UN and OSCE mandates.
Noting that recent crises in Europe show that the continent remains at risk from new outbreaks of conflict, Guterres called for reinforcing mutual trust and respect to strengthen stability and cooperation both within Europe and beyond. “Populism, nationalism, xenophobia and violent extremism are causes and effects of conflict in Europe”, the UN Secretary General said.
The Security Council meeting at which the UN chief delivered this message started with a moment of silence in memory of the Permanent Representative of Russia to the United Nations, Vitaly Churkin, who passed away yesterday.
Turning to the subject at hand, the Secretary-General said crises in Europe could also adversely impact economic progress and sustainable development. “Conflict in Europe is not only a tragedy for those directly involved: those killed, injured, displaced, who have lost loved ones, who may be unable to access healthcare and are missing vital years of their education,” Mr. Guterres said, adding: “It is also reversing development gains and preventing communities and societies from achieving their full potential and contributing to regional and global prosperity.”
Noting that no single factor is responsible for the emergence and continuation of conflicts, he said that in many cases, peace agreements were “simply not being implemented.” Other factors included challenges to democratic governance and the rule of law, and the manipulation of ethnic, economic, religious and communal tensions for personal or political gain.
To read Mr. Zannier full speech, click here. (@OnuItalia)