Uzbekistan proposes institutional reform of OSCE
|The 13th OSCE Ministerial Council took place on 5 and 6 December 2005 in Ljubljana, Slovenia. |
During the past several years of its operation, OSCE has stepped away from the fundamental principles of its activity. One of the symptoms of the organisation's unsound performance was observed in 1999, when it failed to provide a well-founded agenda for discussion at the top political level – the organisation's summit. For the past three years, inconsistencies have been observed in the general political declarations of the Ministerial Council.
In the conditions of the progressing crisis of the OSCE system, opinions doubting the importance of the organisation are pronounced more and more often. Many of the organisation's member-states recognize the urgent need to reform the organisation, adapt its institutions to the new security threats, and eliminate the functional misbalance in its activity.
In his statement, the Head of Uzbek Delegation spoke about Uzbekistan's position regarding the reformation of the organisation, Jahon reported.
"Uzbek party views the OSCE Ministerial Council as another opportunity to start the process of comprehensive reformation of the organisation, elimination of any functional, geographic or other misbalances hampering its effective operation, and most importantly, the its adaptation to the new threats and international-political realities," said the head of Uzbek foreign political department. "These issues are becoming even more urgent, since no OSCE summits have been held since 1999 – which more than six years," he added.
In this context, Uzbekistan supports the conclusions and recommendations of the Group of Eminent Figures on the need to achieve agreement among the member countries about the mission and tasks of the OSCE.
Unforturnately, it appears that the organisation continues to experience a deep system crisis. While keeping the high level of bureaucracy, it generally plays a nominal role in the dialogue on the key security problems. Naturally, this sort of situation does not add authority to OSCE.
OSCE's effective functioning ishampered by serious disbalance between the three "baskets" of its activity. You could find this situation to be one-sided, when OSCE commissioned to deal primarily with the issues of security, economy, ecology, democratic renewal of the OSCE's space, instead focuses primarily on monitoring the processes taking place on the territory of CIS, mainly in the issues concerning human rights protection, and control over the electoral procedures.
One of the urgent and priority tasks in the framework of OSCE reformation is to cardinally change the nature, objectives and mechanisms of its activity in the electoral sphere. OSCE's missions are sent mainly to CIS countries, where, usually, one-sided monitoring of electoral processes results in formation of biassed opinions, often not representative of the factual situation. Constant focusing on the same countries, and low attention to the acute problems of the other states also indicate the presence of "double standard" policies.
Another issue of growing concern is the fact that OSCE institutions are often used not as the mechanism of real assistance, but as means of political pressure, which drops the authority of and reduces trust towards the organisation as a whole. Uzbekistan believes the activity of these institutions should comply with political priorities approved by the collective bodies, and the action plans of all of the organisation's structures should be developed for a long-term perspective and comply with the changing conditions in the sphere of security.
Uzbekistan supports the opinion on the need to increase the transparency of the use of off-budget funds issued in support of OSCE institutions.
In this context, it is essential to revise the tasks and methods of work of the Bureau for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights, develop and approve of the commonly accepted objective elections criteria across the organisation's sphere of presence, including comparative analysis of the legislations on elections dictating unified approach in assessment of electoral processes across the OSCE territory.
"Field activity" of the organisation is hardly effective in its current condition, as it focuses exclusively on the monitoring of the protection of human rights and activity of democratic institutions, practically overlooking the other issues of great concern to the monitored territories.
Uzbek party suggests that one of the possible reasons for the situation in OSCE and around it is the violation of the fundamental principles of political dialogue, and the attempt to divide the countries into "controlling" and "controlled".
Such tendencies take place in the conditions of the growing threat to security and stable development of the countries, which require not only consolidation of the world community, but also adequate solution of problems at the national, regional, and global levels.
Unfortunately, we have to admit to the fact that the international community, and OSCE in particular, does not have one agreed view on the nature of contemporary threats. "Double standards" are used in the assessment of anti-terrorist efforts of the participating countries. OSCE, intended to assist the development of collective solutions to the security threats common to all countries, did not provide a principle assessment to the unprecedented terrorist attack that took place in Andijan in May of 2005.
In this view, Uzbek administration paid attention to the hasty, unfounded, and to say the least, improper statements of certain OSCE representatives regarding Andijan events. While simply ignoring the opinion of Uzbekistan – a member of the organisation – and founding its statements on the ill-informed reports of the media, it made attempts to characterize armed criminals as the "fighters for democracy".
Moreover, it grossly violated the fundamental principles, based on the primacy of OSCE collective bodies, and allowed the misuse of authority by the BDIHR, the representative for the freedom of media, and other officials, who provided appraisal to the situation on behalf of the organisation, not having agreed with the OSCE member-states.
Now, even after the prominent terrorist attacks in the US and a number of countries in Europe, extremist movements openly promoting religious intolerance and international dissension, rejecting the ideas of democracy, equality, individual rights regardless of sex and religious views and striving to reverse the movement towards progress are up to date operating freely in the territory of some OSCE participating States.
Therefore, it is necessary to emphasise once again that in light of consolidation of international terrorist forces it is vitally important to focus the efforts on counteracting, firstly, ideological foundations and origins of terrorism and adopt joint measures on prohibition of activities of international extremist organisations throughout the OSCE region.
Of equal important today are the issues of effective fight against one of the main sources of financing of international terrorism and religious extremism - drug trafficking.
In this context, Uzbekistan supports a prepared draft of the Resolution of the Council of Ministers of Foreign Affairs on the fight against illicit drug trafficking, the implemention of which should activise our efforts in the given direction.
First, return the OSCE the role of a key forum for equitable dialogue and decision-making on vital issues of security, among other things by way of elaborating a Charter and clear rules of procedure for the organisation.
Second, revoke the so-called specialisation of the OSCE on the problems of the post-Soviet space and recommend that the Belgian chairmanship in 2006 ensure the balance in OSCE activities across the three dimensions.
Third, taking into account the vitality of intensification of international cooperation in the fight against terrorism, extremism, drug trafficking and other challenges to security, to hold consultations in 2006 on intensification of inter-institutional collaboration of European and Euro-Atlantic structures with the CIS, the SCO and other regional organisations.
Fourth, retain and strengthen consensus as a basis for the functioning of the organisation, further raise the role and responsibility of collective bodies in the decision-making process on vital issues, especially in the Permanent Council.
Fifth, ensure strict adherence to the mandates by all institutions and structures of the OSCE, including the "field missions", consider issues of raising the responsibility of OSCE institutions.
Sixth, before the next meeting of the Council of heads of foreign affairs ministries is convened, take specific steps towards the development of common criteria and methodology in the electoral sphere on the basis of guaranteed equal treatment of all states-participants, without focusing the attention exclusively on the countries east of Vienna, review the procedure for the formation of monitoring missions.
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