Government: Slovak OSCE Presidency Anchored in Three Priorities

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OSCE summit, stock photo by TASR/AP

Bratislava, December 19 (TASR) – Conflict prevention and the amelioration of its impacts, a secure future and effective multilateralism are the top three priorities of the Slovak 2019 OSCE Presidency, greenlighted by the Government on Wednesday.

The Foreign and European Affairs Ministry cited an active approach to conflict prevention, Ukraine and the Special Monitoring Mission in Ukraine, frozen conflicts, structured dialogue, trust-building measures and the administration and reform of the security sector in the Western Balkans.

As for a secure future, the ministry intends to pursue the prevention of radicalisation and support for tolerance and non-discrimination, a focus on youth, cybersecurity and the next industrial revolution.

Listed under effective multilateralism priority is a plan to foster cooperation between international organisations, strategic partnerships, the implementation of UN sustainable development targets, a strategic approach to prioritising OSCE activities and implementing commitments.

The Foreign Affairs Ministry warns that a great deal of variables will affect the Slovak OSCE Presidency, including Ukraine, where both presidential and parliamentary races are slated for 2019.

In addition, the ministry pledged that Slovakia’s Presidency will strive to be active, fair and honest in mediating disputes and presiding over talks as well as beneficial to those wishing to advance the OSCE to reflect more closely the reality of the 21st century. “In this respect, however, the Presidency will also be realistically ambitious and will respect the existing geopolitical situation in Europe and the global stage. Slovakia’s 2019 OSCE Presidency is a great challenge, but also an extraordinary opportunity, an opportunity to no longer be only a passive consumer of security, but rather to help shape the security infrastructure of Europe actively. There will be an opportunity to raise issues for the organisation to deal with in 2019 and simultaneously help to resolve the conflict in Ukraine, which is in our immediate neighbourhood and directly affects the security of the Slovak Republic,” added the ministry.

Slovakia’s candidacy for the OSCE Presidency in 2019 was approved by 57 member states in December 2016. The Presidency has a duration of one calendar year, with the post of chairperson-in-office (CiO) exercised by the foreign affairs minister of the presiding state.