SKOPJE, 1 December 2023 – The OSCE Chairman-in-Office, Minister of Foreign Affairs of North Macedonia Bujar Osmani, announced the selection of Malta for the 2024 OSCE Chairpersonship and the extension of senior officials at the closing of the 30th Ministerial Council in Skopje today.
Chairman Osmani welcomed the participating States’ adoption, by consensus, of decisions on the selection of Malta as OSCE Chairperson-in-Office for 2024, the extension of OSCE Secretary General Schmid, Representative on Freedom of the Media Ribeiro and High Commissioner on National Minorities Abdrakhmanov, and the appointment of Director of the OSCE Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights Mecacci, until 3 September 2024.
“Our ability to come together now and forge consensus among all 57 participating States reveals, once more, the importance and efficacy of building agreement through negotiation and compromise on behalf of our common goals and objectives. Despite our differences and disagreements, we have shown the strategic vision required to continue our constructive efforts toward implementing and applying the OSCE’s competitive advantages through the work of its executive structures to the benefit of all our people,” said Osmani.
Discussions also focused on addressing the security challenges caused by the ongoing war against Ukraine.
“As I stated on many occasions in the past, the OSCE can do a lot during war, but it can do even more to prevent conflicts and mitigate the fallout of armed conflict. For these reasons, we need this Organization to foster multilateralism and facilitate cooperation, so people can live freely and enjoy normal lives,” said the Chairman. “Let us answer this call together, because it comes not from me as Chairman-in-Office, but from the people of the OSCE region – the people and citizens of our countries,” concluded Osmani.
Throughout the Ministerial Council, Secretary General Helga Maria Schmid emphasized the impact and relevance of the OSCE’s work across the region.
“Over the past three years I have seen how very much this organization has to offer. All that we do – whether working to tackle corruption and organized crime or monitoring elections, enhancing the safety of women journalists or training border guards on human rights standards – is in support of people across our region and beyond. The OSCE has been and remains a quietly powerful force for change,” said Secretary General Schmid. “In the current circumstances, finding common ground on any topic is a challenge. The decisions made by participating States here in Skopje will enable this work by and for the people of the OSCE region to continue to support stability, security, and human rights.”
Malta will begin its term as OSCE Chairperson-in-Office on 1 January 2024. In his remarks, the Maltese Minister of Foreign Affairs and upcoming Chairperson-in-Office, Ian Borg, emphasized the country’s willingness to assume the mantle of leadership.
“The unanimous vote by all 57 countries is a testament to our joint commitment to continue strengthening our organization and, despite all the challenges we are currently facing, ensure that this organization remains robust. The OSCE was created upon shared principles and values. It is an inclusive platform for effective dialogue and we will make sure to keep strengthening it,” said Minister Borg.