29th OSCE Ministerial Council
Asian Partners for Cooperation Statement
Delivered by H.E Ambassador Richard Sadleir, Australia’s Permanent Representative to the United Nations and International Organisations in Vienna
2 December 2022
Thank you Minister Rau, Minister Linde, Minister Osmani, Secretary General, my fellow Asian Partners, ladies and gentlemen.
I would like to start by thanking Poland for its strong, decisive chairing of the OSCE. I would also like to thank Sweden for its deft leadership of the Asian Partners group this year and for our strong cooperation, including most recently to facilitate Australia’s thematic dialogue on disinformation.
Australia greatly values our engagement through the OSCE Asian Partners mechanism. In particular, we welcome the opportunity to bring our experiences and perspectives to the organisation, and to collaborate with Participating States to consider responses to the challenges that confront us all.
In my national statement during this Council, I will elaborate Australia’s response to Russia’s illegal and immoral aggression against Ukraine. In this format, I want to assure you that we will continue to condemn Russia’s actions wherever we can, including through our participation in the OSCE, and practical, tangible Australian support for Ukraine.
Australia is committed to the fundamental principles of international law because we do not want to see a world where differences and disputes are settled by size and power. They should instead be settled by agreed rules and norms.
We were pleased to use our thematic dialogue this year to highlight the serious threat disinformation and foreign interference poses to the security, prosperity, and sovereignty of states in our respective regions.
One pressing example is Russian disinformation, amplified by China, which is inter alia falsely blaming ‘Western sanctions’ for rising food insecurity and supply chain disruptions, when – in reality - food and agricultural commodities are not sanctioned by Australia or its partners. Russia – and China – must be called out for their misinformation and disinformation.
We will continue to use this forum to draw attention to our shared challenges, and we look forward to working closely with Poland as the incoming chair of the Asian Partners to ensure our collaboration is mutually beneficial.
Allow me to finish by reiterating Australia’s deep gratitude to the OSCE for the role this organisation has played, and continues to play, in responding to the downing of Malaysian Airlines flight MH17 in 2014. Like the Netherlands and other grieving nations, Australia has been steadfast in seeking truth, justice and accountability for the victims, and we welcome the verdict against three individuals in The Hague on 17 November.
We wish North Macedonia every success in 2023. It is a challenging time for the OSCE, as it is for the world, and you can be assured of our support for your difficult task. We look forward to our close collaboration in Vienna.
May I conclude by thanking Minister Rau for your hosting us in the lovely city of Łódź.