Australian Embassy and Permanent Mission to the United Nations
Bosnia and Herzegovina, Hungary, Slovakia and Slovenia

Asian Partners for Co-operation Meeting

Australian intervention – OSCE APCG Meeting hosted by Japan

‘30th Anniversary of Japan-OSCE Cooperation – Human security as approach to peacebuilding’

Friday 22 July 2022

Delivered by  Katie Mead, Alternate Permanent Representative

Thank you, Chair.

Thank you Ambassador Funered and Ambassador Mizutani for hosting today’s meeting. I also express our thanks to the panel representatives for their valuable insights and presentations.

Australia congratulates the OSCE and Japan on this significant milestone of thirty years of cooperation. Today we recognise Japan as the longest-standing Asian Partner of the OSCE. The partnership between Japan and the OSCE is of a special nature, and it created a path towards partnership for other Indo-Pacific countries – such as Australia -- to follow.

We have heard today about the substantial contributions that Japan continues to make to the OSCE, both budgetary and in-kind, and in the deployment of experts to regional missions. We all benefit from the excellent cooperation between the OSCE and Japan.

Japan’s contributions to this forum and its perspectives as an Indo-Pacific nation deepen the ties between our regions, and strengthen the cooperation between Asian Partners and Participating States.

Sadly, Russia’s ongoing aggression against Ukraine continues to undermine multilateral efforts to build peace and resolve conflict. As colleagues have already noted here today, Russia’s war against Ukraine demonstrates the critical importance of strengthening international cooperation and upholding international law.

Australia continues to condemn in the strongest possible terms Russia’s unilateral, illegal and immoral invasion of Ukraine.  Australia strongly supports Ukraine's sovereignty and territorial integrity.  We call on Russia to immediately withdraw its forces from Ukrainian territory, consistent with the legally binding decision of the International Court of Justice.

We therefore welcome the focus of today’s thematic session on human security and peacebuilding efforts. Addressing the root causes of conflict and building the foundations for peaceful, inclusive societies is critical to preventing and resolving conflict. One of our guest speakers today, Ms Yamashita, has already drawn some excellent parallels between the work of the UN with the OSCE in the peacebuilding efforts of each organisation.

Australia provides significant support for UN peacebuilding efforts through the UN Peacebuilding Architecture and through UN country programs which support political, security and development activities focused on contributing to sustainable peace and preventing countries' relapse into conflict.

We believe that conflict prevention and mediation are essential diplomatic tools for promoting a regional and global environment conducive to prosperity and security – in both Europe and the Indo-Pacific regions, and throughout the world.

Australia has a successful record supporting peace through diplomatic, peacekeeping and development engagement. Our involvement in peacekeeping operations spans more than 70 years. We have provided military and police personnel to UN and other multilateral peace and security operations since 1947, and played a leading role in our region in successful missions to Solomon Islands, Timor-Leste and Bougainville, in Papua New Guinea.

Once again Chair, I would like to express my congratulations to Japan on its 30th anniversary of cooperation with the OSCE, as well as my gratitude to Ambassadors Funered and Mizutani for facilitating today’s exchange of views. There has never been a more important time to consider effective approaches to achieving – and maintaining – peace in our regions and beyond.

Thank you, Chair.