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Foreign Minister Urmas Paet: OSCE Must Be More Active in Resolving Long-Term Conflicts

06.12.2011

At the meeting of the foreign ministers of the Organisation for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE) held in Vilnius today, Foreign Minister Urmas Paet said that the greatest threat in Europe’s security space is unresolved long-term conflicts. “The OSCE has an important role in resolving existing conflicts, and we expect the organisation to be more active and to achieve more concrete results than before in addressing frozen conflicts,” Paet noted.

The foreign minister stated that in order to ensure stability and security it is necessary for international observers to return to Georgia’s territory. “We must continue to work towards getting the OSCE mission to return and getting the European Union Monitoring Mission to expand its activities to Georgia’s occupied territories,” Paet asserted. The foreign minister added that more active work must also be done to achieve results in the Nagorno-Karabakh and Transnistria conflicts.

At the meeting, Foreign Minister Paet emphasised the importance of the OSCE’s work in promoting democracy and ensuring human rights. “Estonia is a consistent supporter of media freedom and as an e-state, we also feel it is important to guarantee widespread internet freedom,” stated the foreign minister. Paet said that restrictions on people’s democratic freedoms should also not occur in countries that are members of the OSCE. “Therefore it is important to continue supporting civil society and free media in Belarus and the democratic endeavours of the state,” he said.

The foreign minister also noted that in today’s world the OSCE must fight more than ever against security threats that defy borders, including cyber crime and terrorism. “In order to ensure cyber security, Estonia feels it is important that the fight against cyber crime is done in a way that does not restrict freedom of speech or human rights,” Paet stated.

This year the chairman of the Organisation for Security and Co-operation in Europe is Lithuania and the 18th Meeting of the OSCE Ministerial Council is taking place from 6-7 December in Vilnius. In 2012 Ireland will serve as chairman of the OSCE.
 

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