The Malta Independent 29 February 2024, Thursday
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Updated: OSCE Permanent Council recommends that Malta chair the organisation in 2024

Monday, 27 November 2023, 13:40 Last update: about 3 months ago

The OSCE Permanent Council has adopted a decision recommending that Malta chair the organisation in 2024.

The OSCE stands for the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe. With 57 States from Europe, Central Asia and North America, the OSCE is the world's largest regional security organization. Its activities cover a wide range of security issues such as conflict prevention to fostering economic development, ensuring the sustainable use of natural resources and promoting the full respect of human rights and fundamental freedoms.

The recommendation for Malta to take over as Chair next year was made unanimously by the Permanent Council to the foreign ministers of the 57 OSCE participating states, the the Security and Human Rights Monitor had reported.

The ministers will take their vote on Thursday, when they meet in Skopje, North Macedonia, for their annual meeting.

Prime Minister Robert Abela, in a tweet, said: "Met OSCE Secretary General Helga Schmid in Vienna as we receive unanimous recommendation for Malta’s formal approval as the OSCE Chair in 2024. Our commitment to being a credible voice for peace and security in international fora remains unwavering."


A statement issued by the Maltese government read that Abela met Schmid as part of the official visit to Austria. "Prime Minister Abela congratulated Secretary General Schmid for leading the Organisation through turbulent times and expressed Malta's support towards the renewal of her mandate, along with the incumbency renewal of the OSCE Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights, the OSCE Representative on the Freedom of the Media, and the OSCE High Commissioner for National Minorities. Prime Minister Abela also expressed his sincere gratitude for the trust shown towards Malta by the OSCE participating States to take the helm of the largest security Organisation in 2024," it read.

During the meeting, Prime Minister Abela and Secretary General Schmid also held an exchange on the ongoing conflicts in the region, particularly Russia's war of aggression against Ukraine. "Prime Minister Abela commended the OSCE's work in Ukraine through the initiatives of the Support Programme for Ukraine and expressed Malta's readiness to support this initiative through a financial contribution to the Support Programme," it read.

Abela also underscored the importance of multilateralism as a core aspect of Malta's foreign policy, it read.. "He expressed Malta's support for the upcoming preparations for the 50th Anniversary of the Helsinki Final Act in 2025, and for the hosting of the OSCE Mediterranean Conference 2024 in Malta later next year," the statement continued. The Prime Minister was accompanied by Minister for Foreign and European Affairs and Trade Ian Borg and Head of Secretariat of the Office of the Prime Minister Glenn Micallef.

Current OSCE Chairman Bujar Osmani, who is the Foreign Affairs Minister of the Republic of North Macedonia, tweeted: "Breaking news from Vienna!  Huge decisions opening the path towards consensus on OSCE2024 chair to be confirmed (...) in Skopje. Thank you Malta for your willingness to take on this vital role and to all colleagues for your flexibility and support."

The Security and Human Rights Monitor reported that the lengthy impasse on the chairmanship for 2024 "was the result of events that began in November 2020, when Estonia launched a bid to take over the OSCE chair in 2024. Soon after the launch of its candidacy, Estonia began to face opposition from Russia - a position Moscow has held to this day."

It was previously reported in local media that Malta had been asked to consider chairing the body due to this impasse.

The OSCE Chairmanship is held for one calendar year by the OSCE participating State designated as such by a decision of the Ministerial Council, the OSCE website reads. "The function of the Chairperson-in-Office (CiO) is exercised by the Minister of Foreign Affairs of that State."

Malta is currently also on the UN Security Council. 


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