Almaty, 16. July 2010 Press release

Spindelegger: „Make the OSCE fit for the security requirements of the 21st century“

Almaty, 15 July 2010 - „An OSCE summit could generate an important trigger effect for better implementation of existing obligations and further development of common standards. Moreover, such a meeting could also contribute to overcoming the current standstill between Russia and the NATO states over conventional arms control. We cannot afford a new arms race – more transparency and trust would be of benefit to all of us“, said Foreign Minister Michael Spindelegger during the informal foreign ministers meeting of the Organisation for Security and Cooperation in Europe on 16 and 17 July in Almaty.

Spindelegger emphasized that the decisive factor would not be the venue of a future summit but rather its substantial preparation: „The OSCE summit must not become an end in itself, but must aim at achieving a measurable increase of OSCE capacities in conflict management and closer cooperation in dealing with transnational threats. The OSCE must be made fit for the security requirements of the 21st century. In addition, the OSCE’s contribution to compliance with human rights, including freedom of the press, needs to be further developed.“

„Our aim must be to strengthen the OSCE in all its dimensions. A stronger OSCE is in the interest of all states. Only then can we ensure that the OSCE remains the central forum for the European security dialogue. The European Union in particular must act in unity in this process and assume a leadership role“, the Foreign Minister continued.

Following a difficult phase in the aftermath of the Georgia conflict in 2008, last year's Greek and the current Kazakh presidency of the OSCE has succeeded through the Corfu process to gradually restore lost trust and understanding between the participating states. EU and Austria took an active role in this process by preparing numerous, concrete documents.

Spindelegger is also taking advantage of the OSCE foreign ministers meeting to carry out several bilateral talks. On the sidelines of the event, he will be having personal meetings among others with the foreign ministers of Russia, Israel, Kazakhstan, Turkmenistan, Kyrgyzstan, and the Ukraine.

For more information, contact:
Federal Ministry for European 
and International Affairs
Press Department
Tel.: ++43 (0) 50 1150-3262, 4549, 4550
Fax: ++43 (0) 50 1159-213
Email: abti3(at)bmeia.gv.at