Andreas Louka, Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Defense of Cyprus, addresses the closing Forum for Security Co-operation meeting with Cyprus as Chair, 13 March 2024. (OSCE/Micky Kroell)
Cyprus News

Cyprus holds closing meeting as Chair of the OSCE Forum for Security Co-operation

Today, 13 March 2024, the closing session of the Forum for Security Co-operation (FSC) under the Chairpersonship of Cyprus was held in the presence of the Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Defence of the Republic of Cyprus, Mr Andreas Louka.

In his statement, the Permanent Secretary underlined Cyprus’ firm commitment to international law and the rule of law, which cannot be replaced by the use of force. This also applies to Russia’s war against Ukraine, which not only has a devastating impact on Ukraine and its people, but also affects the security and stability of the whole region.

As FSC Chair, Cyprus organised four Security Dialogues on topics relevant to the mandate of the FSC, which were welcomed by the overwhelming majority of the participating States:

Humanitarian Mine Action with a focus on Victim Assistance;

Human Security in Armed Conflicts with a focus on gender-based violence;

Security and Environment; and

Women, Peace and Security (WPS) and the integration of the gender perspective in the fulfilment OSCE politico-military commitments and activities.

Numerous prominent keynote speakers and expert panellists participated in these dialogues. The US Assistant Secretary of Defence for International Security, Ms Celleste Wallander, the Ministers of Environment of Cyprus and Malta, Ms Maria Panayiotou and Ms Miriam Dalli, as well as the Cyprus Commissioner for Gender Equality, Ms Josie Christodoulou, were among them. These speakers followed the address made by Cyprus’ Minister of Foreign Affairs, Dr Konstantinos Kombos, during Cyprus’ inaugural session as FSC Chair.

Permanent Secretary Louka also mentioned the close and fruitful co-operation between Cyprus as FSC Chair and Malta as 2024 OSCE Chair-in-Office. This resulted in a joint meeting of the two decision-making bodies of the Organization, the FSC and the Permanent Council, on security and the environment, and a side event for the 2024 International Women’s Day, co-organized by Cyprus, Malta and the OSCE Secretariat on the role of men in achieving gender equality.

In closing remarks, Mr Louka referred to the OSCE as the most important regional platform of dialogue and co-operation, which was created to prevent war and build bridges. He also underscored the importance of preserving multilateralism and the values upon which a rules-based international order is founded.

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