Today, the Undersecretary of State for Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, Vincenzo Amendola, presented the Italian 2018 OSCE Chairmanship priorities to the OSCE Parliamentary Assembly in Vienna. Minister Alfano had already illustrated these priorities to the Organization’s Permanent Council on 11 January.
Undersecretary Amendola reminded the audience of the main motto of the Italian OSCE Chairmanship: “Dialogue, Ownership, Responsibility”. They are the key elements to relaunch the spirit of Helsinki in the belief that dialogue and responsible engagement by everyone is vital for our security. The main challenge is finding a solution to the crisis in and around Ukraine. Amendola then spoke of Minister Alfano’s diplomatic mission to Kiev, Moscow and Donbass to encourage a constructive resumption of negotiations and the full implementation of the Minsk Protocol.
Italy confirms its commitment to strengthen the OSCE’s work to address all the main protracted conflicts in Transdniestria, Georgia and Nagorno-Karabakh, while at the same time promoting a stronger focus on the Mediterranean, a ‘hub’ connecting three continents and thus indispensable to build peace and sustainable development in the 21st century, also beyond the borders of the Organisation. The OSCE represents a model of dialogue, based on the 1975 principles, which we can also consider as a paradigm for a wider Mediterranean. We could define it as a sort of Helsinki of the Mediterranean. Undersecretary Amendola spoke of today’s tragedy, the massacre in Syria, where it is of the essence to lay new ground for dialogue to put an end to it, and look for ways to avoid catastrophe.
Last year, Italy did much to strengthen the dialogue between the OSCE and the countries in the area. These efforts led to the Mediterranean Conference in Palermo, to build a true partnership between the OSCE 57 participating countries and the Mediterranean countries. A success that has confirmed the OSCE as a platform for dialogue, which is key to reaffirming the importance of multilateralism and international solidarity when facing global challenges such as migration flows. The structural extent of migration and its long-term characteristics must be faced with the broadest possible sharing of responsibility and international solidarity. Italy is at the forefront of the crisis, and is making great efforts to manage the situation. However we need a global approach to go beyond the management of emergency situations. In this respect, Amendola said, it is most important to have the support of the Parliamentary Assembly, which has created an ad hoc migration committee.
We will continue to press ahead in our efforts to counter all forms of racism, xenophobia, discrimination and intolerance. In this respect Undersecretary Amendola pointed out that the Italian 2018 OSCE Chairmanship started with an event entitled “Conference on the Responsibility of States, Institutions and Individuals in the Fight against Anti-Semitism in the OSCE Area“, which was held in Rome on 29 January. Another event on countering all forms of intolerance and religious discrimination is scheduled to take place during the year.