Ladies and Gentlemen,
This year has been shadowed by the crisis in and around Ukraine. We all need to support the de-escalation efforts to bring the fighting to the end. We also need to support dialogue measures and planned reforms in the country. In these efforts, the Chairperson-in-Office, Switzerland and the OSCE deserve our full backing. The Minsk Protocol and Memorandum are the way to move forward and to end the violence, and all parties should fully implement these commitments.
The OSCE commitments and principles have been seriously violated. Russian actions – annexation of Crimea and involvement in de-stabilization efforts elsewhere in Ukraine – are against the key OSCE principles and cannot be accepted.
The OSCE has proven its capacity to act since the beginning of the crisis in Ukraine. We support the active role of the OSCE. Finland has decided on an additional voluntary contribution of half a million euros to the Special Monitoring Mission, bringing our total voluntary contribution to 2 million euros. Currently we have 19 monitors on the ground and we are prepared to offer more candidates to the mission, as well as to the OSCE border monitoring.
Violence in the middle of Europe just underscores the need to strengthen further the capacity of the OSCE to deal with crisis and conflict situations. This is one of the issues that should be addressed in the context of the Helsinki +40 process. I hope this Ministerial Council will give a clear mandate for continuing this work, with a view to strengthening the OSCE and providing forward looking perspectives.
There are few topics, I would like to highlight in this regard:
First, we should strengthen the mediation capacity of the OSCE.
Second, we should look at ways to strengthen the OSCE´s human dimension. Third, there is a broad consensus that the arms control tools agreed in the OSCE framework should be modernized.
Finally, it is time that we truly put gender issues on the top of our agenda. Finland has been in the forefront advocating an OSCE wide action plan for the implementation of UNSCR 1325 on women, peace and security.
We need to reconfirm the elements of our cooperative security. While there is an imminent task of ending violence in Ukraine, we need to work towards building trust and to seek ways to enhance the co-operation among the participating States.
This is certainly not a time to put our joint principles and commitments on the back burner. Finland supports the CiOs efforts in finding common ground on this, including the panel of eminent persons. The OSCE principles and commitments constitute a sound basis for this work. Additionally, we believe that the civil society can play important part in this process.
In these challenging times you have done excellent work. Also here in Basel you have presented a good set of deliverables. Most importantly, you have provided us common space for sincere discussions on the most pressing issues.
In conclusion, I want to express once more my thanks to you Mr. Chairman and to wish the incoming Serbian and German Chairmanships every success. You can count on our continuous support.