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Ministers declare support for Transdniestrian settlement process

DUBLIN, 7 December 2012 – A strategic road map for the OSCE’s future direction and a statement of support for the newly invigorated talks on the Transdniestrian settlement process were among decisions taken by foreign ministers and high-level representatives from the 57 OSCE participating States at the 19th Ministerial Council, which concluded in Dublin today.

The OSCE Chairperson-in-Office, Ireland's Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade Eamon Gilmore, welcomed the adoption of a strategic road map for the OSCE to more effectively address security challenges.

“I am delighted that we have agreed to launch the Helsinki+40 process, setting out a clear path from now until 2015 for work which will significantly strengthen the Organization,” he said.  “I stand ready to support the incoming Chairmanships of Ukraine, Switzerland and Serbia, as they strive to reinforce and revitalize the OSCE, in the lead up to the 40th anniversary of the Helsinki Final Act.”

For the first time in many years, ministers declared their unanimous support for the Transdniestrian settlement process, giving new political impetus to the official negotiations, which resumed last year after a six-year hiatus.

“I am pleased to announce that all participating States have agreed on a joint statement reaffirming their strong support for a negotiated, comprehensive, just and viable solution to the conflict,” said the Chairperson. Progress on protracted conflicts and sharing the lessons of the Northern Ireland peace process were priorities of the 2012 Irish Chairmanship of the OSCE.

Ireland had sought to present the participating States with a balanced package of decisions, including on human rights. “The lack of a consensus to agree any decisions in the human dimension is a matter of regret. It is unfortunate that this worrying trend of recent Ministerial Councils has continued. Of even greater concern, is the sad reality that respect for basic human rights and fundamental freedoms is currently under great threat in many parts of the OSCE region.”

The Chairperson also welcomed a declaration on strengthening good governance. Calling this a “significant achievement for the Chairmanship”, he told ministers that this would “enable the OSCE to deepen its engagement in preventing and countering corruption.”

Ministers also consolidated the OSCE’s efforts to address transnational threats, adding an anti-terrorism framework to earlier decisions negotiated throughout the year on threats from information and communication technologies, drugs and chemical precursors and on strategic policing.

Speaking alongside Minister Gilmore at a press briefing, OSCE Secretary General Lamberto  Zannier acknowledged that there were “different visions of security” among participating States but welcomed the mandate given by the Helsinki +40 decision to develop the vision of a security community within the OSCE region. “We are very eager to work with the incoming Chairmanship of Ukraine to develop this framework,” he said.