I thank the OSCE Chairman in Office, Minister Rau and USG DiCarlo for the information provided.
We welcome this timely exchange with OSCE, – one of the world’s largest regional security organizations, which brings together 57 participating States across three continents, bound by joint commitments. As an important pillar of the international rules-based order, OSCE plays an essential role in addressing many of the challenges on the Council’s agenda. Therefore, the collaboration and partnership between the two organizations is key and needs to be strengthened.
Albania fully supports the priorities of the Polish OSCE Chairmanship. We welcome the focus on safeguarding a comprehensive security order by defending the principles of the Helsinki Final Act, the Paris Charter, and the Charter for European Security.
These principles are neither negotiable nor subject to revision or re-interpretation. The commitment to human rights, values of freedom and democracy, as well as the support of its institutions should continue be an irreplaceable blueprint in the work of OSCE.
We welcome the work of the OSCE and the United Nations in the framework of WPS agenda and reconciliation processes in Western Balkans.
There has hardly been a more suitable and urgent time to reaffirm these fundamental principles, which for nearly five decades have stood as effective mechanisms to conflict prevention and de-escalation in Europe. Until the 24th of February.
In 2020, soon after Albania assumed the OSCE Chairmanship-in-Office, we were confronted with an invisible enemy which threatened the entire world. It went by the name of Covid-19 pandemic. We still do not know everything about it but we do know far too well what it did to humanity, to our way of life, to our countries and economies, and in many ways, to all of us.
Two years later, as Poland started its Chairmanship, the OSCE area was confronted with another threat. But this time, everyone knew where it was coming from; we were warned about what was going to happen; and now, three weeks into this war, we are left with the uninterrupted onslaught of breaking news on the devastation that Russia is unleashing with rage upon Ukraine and its people.
For months, huge efforts were made by the international community, including by the Polish Chairmanship and yourself, Minister, in seeking a peaceful solution; every stone was turned, every possibility was used. The reality shows clearly now that these efforts were doomed to fail because the invasion was premeditated; it a was a plan to be executed despite everything; it is a war Kremlin wanted.
We express our gratitude to Poland, Slovakia, Hungary, Rumania and Moldova for the incredible efforts they are making in sheltering thousands of civilians forced to flee the massive bombardments and war atrocities.
OSCE is a key player for peace and security. It is an important platform to discuss issues related to comprehensive security, equipped with mechanisms as well as confidence and security-building measures. It remains as relevant as when it was created.
It is clear that the overarching divergence between Russia and the existing European security order, based on international law and OSCE principles, is a structural one. While we are served here with all kinds of fantasies that melt like snow under the sun, the real concerns are the democratic values and principles of freedom on which this system is based. In this respect, the OSCE comprehensive concept of security connects the dots between domestic repression and external aggression. Democracy, human rights and the rule of law are key aspects for security within and between states.
We failed to prevent a pure unprovoked and unjustified act of aggression committed by a serial violator of the rules and norms of the international order. We should not fail to make the aggressor pay for it and the crimes committed.
Albania supports the initiative to invoke the OSCE Moscow Mechanism, in order to establish facts of war crimes and crimes against humanity, including due to deliberate and indiscriminate attacks against civilians and civilian infrastructure in Ukraine. Its findings together with those of the Commission of Inquiry established by the Human Rights Council should be presented to relevant accountability mechanisms, as well as national, regional, or international courts or tribunals.
The massive sanctions imposed on Russia have ripple effects for the whole world, including for our own countries and citizens as well. But it is the price to pay so that Russia’s actions do not go unchecked and unpunished.
We hope that the effects of these unprecedented sanctions will wake up Russian citizens:
- to see the reality through the terrible deeds of their army not through the distorted mirror of propaganda;
- to understand why the whole world calls Russia an aggressor;
- to feel for their neighbor that is being savagely destroyed, cities that are becoming graveyards, children that are forcefully leaving their childhood behind, because of such insanity.
The sooner this happens, the sooner this war and any spillover threats, will stop.
Let me end, Mr. President, by recalling the 754th meeting of the SC of 4 November 1956. History has recorded it as the day when a popular revolt in Hungary was viciously crushed by Soviet tanks, uninvited, of course.
I will quote M. Sobolev, the representative of the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics at that meeting, justifying the action. “The Nagy Government openly adopted a reactionary and fascist policy aimed at the complete liquidation of the people’s democratic régime in Hungary, at the restoration of the old landowner-capitalist system and the establishment of a fascist dictatorship.”.
It was about the “so-called fascists” 65 years ago; it is about the ‘so-called denazification” now.
The same discourse, the same actions with their terrible consequences.
Ukraine is a critical test for European security – including OSCE.
We must refuse “A world according to Russia”;
We must determine the preservation and the reinforcement of a rules-based international order.
One man has started this war. He can stop it anytime.