26th OSCE Ministerial Council
Delivered by H.E Ambassador Richard Sadleir, Australia’s Permanent Representative to the United Nations and International Organisations in Vienna
5-6 December 2019
First, let me express Australia’s sincere condolences and deepest sympathies to the families and friends of the victims of the Earthquake in Albania.
Australia would like to commend the efforts of Slovakia as the OSCE Chair-in-Office for 2019 and acknowledge Italy as Chair of the Asian Partners Contact Group this year.
Enhancing collective security through dialogue and diplomacy is a founding precept of the OSCE. We were pleased with the robust exchange this year in the Asian Partners group, which highlighted the value of sharing perspectives across the OSCE and Indo-Pacific regions.
The dialogue canvassed a broad range of pressing international security challenges and synergies between our two regions, all of which pointed to the underlying theme of protecting and strengthening the rules-based international system in a period of change.
The OSCE is an important platform to work together to strengthen the international rules-based order. We remain concerned that some states continue to act in ways that are inconsistent with international law and established norms.
Of utmost concern is the crisis in and around Ukraine.
We again call on Russia to respect Ukraine’s territorial integrity and fully support the OSCE Special Monitoring Mission’s assessment of implementation of the ceasefire.
Australia continues to support United Nations Security Council resolutions affirming Ukraine’s territorial integrity and rejecting Russia’s illegal annexation of Crimea.
In Eastern Ukraine, we call on all parties to the conflict to fulfil their obligations under the Minsk Two Agreement. We welcome the commitment of leaders to meet in the Normandy leaders’ format on 9 December.
An important component of the international rules-based order is ensuring wrongdoers are brought to justice. Australia welcomes the Dutch national prosecution of four individuals for their alleged roles in the downing of Malaysia Airlines flight MH17 in 2014. In line with UNSC resolution 2166, the perpetrators must be held to account.
Australia has full confidence in the impartiality, independence and professionalism of the Joint Investigation Team and the Dutch legal system.
North Korea’s actions continue to undermine the rules-based order. The Australian Government strongly condemns North Korea's repeated ballistic missile launches. All such launches are in clear contravention of multiple UNSC resolutions.
Australia joins with many other nations in seeking permanent peace on the Korean Peninsula, including the complete, verifiable and irreversible denuclearisation of North Korea.
The spectre of terrorism and violent extremism remains a serious threat to international peace and security. We firmly believe that terrorism can be defeated through unified international and regional cooperation.
We value our counter-terrorism collaboration with OSCE and appreciate its engagement with the Countering Violent Extremism Working Group of the Global Counter-Terrorism Forum, which Australia co-chairs with Indonesia.
Australia looks forward to continue its partnership with the OSCE to promote and protect the international rules and norms. Sustained dialogue and international cooperation is the most effective way to meet the complex range of current global challenges.
Through the Asian Partners process, Australia will continue to bring an Indo-Pacific perspective to the OSCE.
We congratulate Albania on its pending chairmanship of the OSCE in 2020.