OSCE Chairman pledges to work more closely with UN on terrorism and

The new Chairman of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) today pledged further cooperation with the United Nations to address issues of mutual concern, including terrorism and the protection of human rights.“The UN and the OSCE share the same values,” said Belgium’s Foreign Minister, Karel de Gucht, in an address to the Security Council.Areas of common concern include respect for human rights, democratization, the protection of minorities, the prevention of conflicts, the management of crises, the fight against organized crime and terrorism and protection of the environment, he said.The UN and the OSCE both recognize terrorism as a new scourge which must be addressed, he said, emphasizing that the OSCE’s work in the area of counter-terrorism is being carried out within the framework of decisions and treaties of the UN.“The members of the OSCE are working to ratify and implement the conventions and protocols of the UN,” Foreign Minister Gucht told the Council. In addition, the OSCE is providing assistance to other countries engaged in the fight against terrorism. As President, Belgium hopes to build on the progress achieved so far and to promote further cooperation between the OSCE and the UN in the field of counter-terrorism.Belgium will also contribute to the prevention of conflicts and the management of crises, he said, citing the example of Kosovo, where the OSCE plays a key role.The OSCE currently has 1,600 personnel stationed throughout Kosovo, including in minority Serb areas. Working in collaboration with the UN Interim Administration Mission in Kosovo (UNMIK), the OSCE is focused on the important task of reconstruction.“This work centres particularly on the protection of minorities, decentralization, democratization, the promotion of human rights, elections, the formation of police and support for the administration,” he said.With the possibility of UNMIK transferring its responsibilities to other organizations, he stressed the need for a dialogue including representatives of the OSCE, the European Union, NATO and others working in Kosovo.During the discussion which followed, numerous members of the Security Council echoed the Foreign Minister’s comments regarding the complementary nature of the UN and the OSCE. They credited the OSCE for its successes in promoting human rights and in fostering stability, particularly in Kosovo.