OSCE Chairperson-in-Office Bujar Osmani Presented North Macedonia’s Plan at the Permanent Council

PeoplePoliticians ♦ Published: January 12, 2023; 23:35 ♦ Updated: January 20; 12:00 ♦ (Vindobona)

Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) Chairman-in-Office and Macedonian Foreign Minister Bujar Osmani presented the country’s priorities and plans for the year 20223 at the permanent council. The top priority he addressed was Russia’s aggression on Ukraine.

OSCE Chairperson-in-Office Bujar Osmani Presented Macedonia's Priorities for the Year 2023 for the OSCE. / Picture: © OSCE / Micky Kroell (CC BY-ND 4.0)

The Chairpersonship of North Macedonia must place the people at the heart of its work in these critical times for European security and stability, said Bujar Osmani, Foreign Minister of North Macedonia and OSCE Chairman-in-Office, today at the Permanent Council of the OSCE.

As a result of Russia's war against Ukraine, Osmani stated: "Those directly affected by war and conflict suffer the most." The uncertainty and insecurity of those who live afar are felt the most. Their way of life is at stake. Everyday life is disrupted. They need to be freed from the fear of war. Our mutual trust is deeply undermined.”

The Chairpersonship's motto, 'It's About People', was highlighted as a driving force for the upcoming year by Osmani. “It’s our duty to react today. For the people. As part of its obligation and capacity, the OSCE must support people." He added that safeguarding people's interests was its responsibility. As he noted, the OSCE needs to keep delivering in difficult times, and each of the 57 participating states must decide if they have the political will to overcome the challenges for the sake of peace, stability, and prosperity.

While the geopolitical context for the organization is challenging, Osmani said that the organization has demonstrated its potential but needs additional support through the adoption of its unified budget. “Principles and commitments are not empty words. In 50 years, history will judge us by our actions, not our promises, deliberations, and statements. We must translate words into action to ensure OSCE functionality.”

Osmani assured that this year's chairmanship would not lose sight of other regional conflicts in the OSCE area. "Regional instability will require our attention," he said. At the press conference, he stressed that he had just discussed the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict with the foreign ministers of Armenia and Azerbaijan.

In recent years, the OSCE was the last regional forum in which Western states and Russia regularly worked together. For example, the decision to launch a large OSCE observer mission in 2014 helped contain the conflict in eastern Ukraine, and the Minsk peace talks between Moscow and Kyiv also took place under OSCE auspices. Ukraine is now openly calling for Russia’s “terror state” to be excluded from the OSCE.