PRESS RELEASE 163
The State Secretary for Foreign Affairs takes part in the Ministerial Council of the Organisation for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE)
06/12/2019
The State Secretary for Foreign Affairs, Fernando Valenzuela, has taken part in the Ministerial Council of the OSCE held in Bratislava, corresponding to the end of the current Slovak Presidency.

He reiterated Spain’s commitment to this forum, which constitutes a privileged platform for dialogue in the area of European security and plays an important role in the existing mechanisms for conflict resolution. In particular, he referred to the situation in Ukraine, which continues to represent an enormous challenge for European security; and the need to find solutions for the “frozen conflicts”.

The State Secretary also highlighted the importance for Spain of initiatives that help recover trust. Among them are the Structured Dialogue on arms control, a process designed to foster trust, work in more depth on the current and future challenges for security and reactivate control of conventional weapons and measures for trust in Europe. 

He highlighted Spain’s leading position in this process, as well as the scope of the fight against transnational threats, to which Spain has contributed in its position as Chair of the Security Committee of the Permanent Council of the OSCE in the last two years. 

Against this backdrop, he took the opportunity to recall the Climate Change Conference COP 25 taking place at this time in Madrid. Its conclusions on sustainability and climate change should guide the work of the OSCE in its Economic and Environmental Dimension, which Spain continues to promote.

Representing a Mediterranean country that in 2018 hosted the OSCE Mediterranean Conference in Malaga, the State Secretary for Foreign Affairs stressed the need to boost cooperation with the organisation’s Mediterranean partners. This cooperation is key for favouring progress and creating a secure environment in the OSCE region. 
 
Among the Spanish priorities in the organisation, he highlighted that as a full and consolidated democracy, Spain fully supports the work of the OSCE in the area of respect for human rights, fundamental freedoms and the rule of law. There is a link between security and respect for human rights, as has been established by the OSCE.

He highlighted that gender equality must be present as a cross-cutting element in the general action of the OSCE; and Spain has supported and will continue to support initiatives that develop it. Equality and full participation by women in peace and security actions are an inescapable demand of our time.

Working for and with young people is also a priority for Spain, which chairs the OSCE Group of Friends on Youth and Security. The State Secretary inaugurated the side event on youth entitled “Young Voices for a Safer Future”, where the young people passed on to him their main concerns.

During the Ministerial Council, the State Secretary has held bilateral meetings with the Secretary General of the OSCE, the OSCE Representative on Freedom of the Media and the Director of the Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights (ODIHR). He also took the opportunity to hold bilateral meetings with the foreign ministers of Kirghizstan and Tajikistan and with the State Secretary for Foreign Affairs of Portugal.

-NON OFFICIAL TRANSLATION-​

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