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Opinions & Interviews

9 Jun 2017

OSCE secretary general emphasizes importance of Belarus’ presidency in CEI

OSCE secretary general emphasizes importance of Belarus’ presidency in CEI

VIENNA, 9 June (BelTA) - OSCE Secretary General Lamberto Zannier emphasized the importance of Belarusian Presidency in the CEI while speaking at the OSCE-CEI High-Level Panel Discussion “Beyond the Emergency: Improving the International Response to large Movements of People” organized as part of the Austrian Chairmanship of the OSCE and Belarus’ CEI Presidency on 9 June, BelTA has learned.

Lamberto Zannier also expressed gratitude for the initiative to hold the discussion. “I am very pleased that the growing cooperation between the Central European Initiative and the OSCE has led to this joint event. Special thanks for taking this initiative go to the Belarusian Presidency of the CEI and the Austrian Chairmanship of the OSCE. I see this as a timely opportunity to exchange views on a prominent issue on the agenda of our two organizations,” the OSCE Secretary General stressed.

According to Lamberto Zannier, refugee and migrant flows have put some countries under formidable stress, testing governance and law enforcement on multiple levels, while challenging and sometimes overstretching the capacity of public services.

“Resulting friction has given leverage to forces that have an interest in exacerbating divisions within and between our societies. The alarming rise in xenophobic tendencies across the OSCE region is, among other reasons, a manifestation of people’s growing fears about migration. While the benefits of free circulation continue to be recognized for the economic opportunities they create for companies and for individuals, physical and legal barriers are being tightened to fend off irregular migrants, many of whom are in fact refugees seeking international protection from violence and conflicts. These actions have created tensions at the inter-state, sub-regional and regional levels,” the OSCE General Secretary stressed.

Lamberto Zannier also noted: “What we have inaptly come to call the “migration crisis” is in effect the failure to deal with the underlying political, economic, and social drivers that push people to seek a better life outside their own countries. They include civil strife and armed conflict, dysfunctional governance and chronic corruption, deep economic disparities magnified by demographic imbalances, as well as threats posed by natural and man-made disasters. Faced with challenges of such a magnitude and complexity, the path towards stability and progress will be hard won and will need to be the work of a broad coalition of actors at all levels.”

The event has been initiated by Belarus’ Permanent Delegation to the OSCE under the auspices of the Austrian Permanent Representation and the OSCE Secretariat.

The discussion is held with the participation of Belarus’ Permanent Representative to the OSCE, Belarus’ Ambassador to Austria Alena Kupchyna, who has been nominated for the post of the OSCE Secretary General. Taking part in the event is Austrian Secretary-General for Foreign Affairs Michael Linhart, OSCE Secretary General Lamberto Zannier, CEI Alternate Secretary General Margot Klestil-Loffler, heads the International Center for Migration Policy Development, the International Organization for Migration, representatives of the OSCE and others.

The forum will discuss a wide range of issues related to the efforts of the international community to respond to the challenges of migration, with a special emphasis on the situation in Central, Eastern and South-Eastern Europe.


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