The Malta Independent 21 January 2021, Thursday

Minister Evarist Bartolo calls for more unity at the OSCE Ministerial Council

Friday, 4 December 2020, 11:06 Last update: about 3 months ago

The value of effective multilateralism in the context of the Covid-19 pandemic was a primary topic during a meeting of the Ministerial Council of the Organisation for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE). On this point, Foreign Affairs Minister Evarist Bartolo highlighted that the pandemic serves as a wake-up call to realise that division is a danger to everyone, while, at the same time, "it should instigate us to fully embrace the opportunities being presented by digitalisation."

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During the 27th Ministerial Council of the Organisation for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE), which convened virtually from Tirana, Albania on the 3rd of December 2020, Minister Bartolo called upon the participating states of the organisation to overcome their differences to secure the core objective of the OSCE - the quest for a more secure region.

In his speech, Minister Bartolo noted that, despite the OSCE being a consensus-based organisation, consensus has rarely been reached as of late, as trust and necessary political will to find compromise continue to be lacking. While appreciating that each country has its own priorities, differences should not diminish the shared objectives of the OSCE and its participating states, Minister Bartolo added.

Minister Bartolo also focused on the significance of conflict resolution, emphasizing that meaningful peace should be sustained not only by state leaders, but also at the grassroots level, through people-to-people contacts and intercultural and interfaith dialogue.

On the relations with the Mediterranean Partners for Cooperation, Minister Bartolo stressed on the need to ensure tangible cooperation with Mediterranean neighbours to increase mutual confidence in order to promote security and stability in the region as a whole.

The OSCE Ministerial Council is held annually and brings together the foreign ministers of the fifty-seven participating states, together with the eleven Partners for Cooperation to assess the OSCE's activities throughout the year and to discuss the ways forward for the organisation. This year's meeting was held virtually under the auspices of the Albanian Chairmanship of the OSCE.

 


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