Malta has taken a historic step by assuming the Chairpersonship of the Organisation for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE) for the first time.
Foreign Minister Ian Borg, who was formally appointed as chairman-in-office of the Organisation for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE), acknowledged the challenging times and stressed the importance of upholding the principles outlined in the Helsinki Final Act and the Charter of Paris. He affirmed Malta’s Chairpersonship dedication to reciprocal trust, emphasising that the shared obligations agreed upon by all participating states are not optional.
The Chairpersonship’s priorities include a resolute commitment to addressing Russia’s illegal war of aggression against Ukraine. Borg condemned recent intensified attacks and called for Russia’s immediate withdrawal from Ukrainian territory within its internationally recognised borders.
Malta’s engagement in the OSCE is guided by three core considerations: the imperative need for global peace, the role as a bridge between East and West, and a steadfast commitment to multilateralism. Borg highlighted Malta’s unique position at the crossroads of Europe and Africa.
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The Chairpersonship will actively contribute to resolving protracted conflicts across the OSCE region, with a focus on Eastern Europe and the South Caucasus. Efforts will be made to support field operations in various regions and strengthen national capacities.
Malta aims to ensure the OSCE’s functionality and address leadership challenges. The Chairpersonship intends to build on North Macedonia’s success in keeping the region’s people at the centre of OSCE initiatives. Borg emphasised an inclusive approach to security, incorporating gender mainstreaming and increased youth engagement.
In light of Malta’s concurrent membership in the UN Security Council, the Chairpersonship seeks to identify constructive synergies between the two multilateral institutions, particularly on issues related to peace and security. Initiatives to strengthen resilience against cyber threats, address transnational threats, and promote compliance with arms control commitments are also on the agenda.
The Chairpersonship will pay attention to bridging digital divides, promoting access to digital technologies, and addressing climate resilience, adaptation, and mitigation. Additionally, efforts to combat violence against women, human trafficking, and initiatives on media literacy and journalist safety, especially for female journalists, are prioritised.
Malta’s commitment to human rights and fundamental freedoms remains unwavering. The Chairpersonship calls on participating states to honour their commitments and invites the Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights (ODIHR) to observe their elections.