27th OSCE Ministerial Council
Asian Partners for Cooperation Statement
Delivered by Emil Stojanovski, Alternate Permanent Representative
3-4 December 2020
I would firstly like to extend our thanks to Albania for its able leadership and chairing of the OSCE, and Slovakia for its leadership of the Asian Partners group, in what has undoubtedly been a challenging year. We look forward to working with Sweden next year.
2020 marks 25 years since the establishment of the Asian Partners mechanism. This is an opportunity to reaffirm our commitment to exchanging ideas and experiences on the broad range of issues that affect both the OSCE and Indo-Pacific regions, and to define longer-term objectives for cooperation. We welcome this year’s draft declaration marking this milestone and look forward to its adoption.
The OSCE Asian Partners mechanism offers us an important platform to strengthen relationships between our regions, and reaffirm our shared commitment to maintaining an open, peaceful, stable and rules-based international order.
This year, the COVID-19 pandemic has presented enormous challenges to communities, economies and livelihoods around the world.
The pandemic is also compounding strategic and security risks, placing strains on institutions, and creating conditions for actions that can undermine the rules and norms underpinning our shared stability and prosperity.
In times of increasingly complex transnational and global threats and challenges, this partnership will become increasingly important.
Reflecting on our work this year, we particularly appreciated the opportunity to exchange ideas, experiences and best practices on peacekeeping, anti-corruption measures, the importance of regional cooperation and trade facilitation, and the important women, peace and security agenda which remains as current today as it was twenty years ago.
We would also like to extend our sincere appreciation to the Republic of Korea for hosting a very successful 2020 Asian Partners Conference under these challenging conditions.
The depth and breadth of issues that we cover in the OSCE Asian Partners group demonstrates the interconnectedness of security issues in our region and beyond.
Chair, as we look ahead to 2021 and beyond, our commitment to inter-regional cooperation will be essential if we are to protect peace and security, foster free and open trade, and tackle global challenges that cannot be solved only within regions.
Australia wants to ensure that the Asian Partners process continues to bring benefits to both Australia, our region, and to the OSCE.
We would see value in, and encourage, participating States to consider how to engage better the Asian Partners on issues of substance and in the spirit of genuine partnership
For instance, to involve further partners in process of drafting decisions and declarations – or at least make access to these available to partners – particularly when these issues pertain directly to the group.
Let me again reiterate my sincere thanks to our Asian Partner colleagues, as well as to Albania and Slovakia for your collaboration and engagement this year. We look forward to working with Sweden next year as the incoming chair of the OSCE, and Albania as Chair of the Asian Partners Group.