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

OSCE Asian Conference – Statement by Alternate Permanent Representative Katie Mead (15 June 2022)

OSCE Asian Conference, organised by Sweden as Chair of the OSCE Asian Partners for Cooperation Group and the OSCE Secretariat

Wednesday 15 June 2022

Delivered by Katie Mead, Alternate Permanent Representative, Australian Permanent Mission.


Thank you, Chair.

On behalf of my ambassador, who regrettably cannot be here today, I would like to commend Sweden as Chair of the Asian Partners for Cooperation Group, Minister Linde and Ambassador Funered for hosting today’s conference. It is no small achievement to have drawn us together for these important discussions against the backdrop of significant challenges within the OSCE region.

We also thank Poland as Chair-in-Office of the OSCE for its ongoing skilful leadership in a time of unprecedented challenges. 

Australia maintains that the OSCE is a key platform for dialogue and cooperation against a backdrop of complex transnational and global threats and challenges.

We are proud to be a member of the Asian Partners for Cooperation Group.  Australia values the opportunity to work with others, including our Asian Partner colleagues, in bringing an Indo Pacific perspective to the deliberations of the OSCE. We welcome the productive exchange of views that has been held in the sessions today, including in Session 1 – in which Australian Ambassador for Women and Girls, Christine Clarke, discussed the shared challenges and opportunities to learn from each other in our different regions.

The OSCE forms a critical part of the international rules-based order, an order which is under increasing strain. We recognise the efforts expressed here today, and in recent Permanent Councils and in Asian Partner Thematic Meetings, to reaffirm commitments to the fundamental principles of the OSCE, the UN Charter, and international law – while holding those who violate them to account.

Our challenges, as well as our opportunities, are shared. The ‘OSCE region’ and the Indo-Pacific are connected in many ways – as Minister Linde said this morning: ‘what happens in the OSCE region has impacts around the world’. The same is true of the Indo-Pacific region.

In a world that is increasingly contested and riven by conflict, Afghanistan remains one of the world’s most severe and protracted humanitarian crises. Australia remains gravely concerned at the worsening human rights situation in Afghanistan. We welcome the OSCE’s continued focus on the situation in Afghanistan.

Australia is also seriously concerned that some states continue to act in ways that are inconsistent with international law and established norms. We join with many others in condemnation of Russia’s unprovoked, unjust and illegal invasion of Ukraine. Russia must be held to account for its actions.

International unity has underpinned an effective response to Russia’s invasion to date. But as the war continues, we cannot allow fatigue to set in. We must continue to find ways to impose a cost on those who violate fundamental tenets of international law and engage in egregious war crimes and human rights violations, in the OSCE and in other fora. Ukraine can count on Australia’s support.

Australia looks forward to our continued work with the OSCE as an Asian Partner for Cooperation, including in our upcoming thematic meeting later this year under the APC Group.

Thank you, Chair.