North Macedonia takes over OSCE Chair

Photo: 2023 OSCE Chairperson-in-Office, Minister of Foreign Affairs of North Macedonia, Bujar Osmani. (OSCE)


North Macedonia takes over the OSCE Chair with a main focus on the needs of the people.

“It is a great responsibility and honour to assume the Chairpersonship of the OSCE for 2023. Our goal will be to focus on the very principles of the Helsinki Final Act, in the interest of and for the needs of the people,” said Bujar Osmani, Foreign Minister of North Macedonia and the new OSCE Chairman-in-Office.

Osmani highlighted the Chair’s overarching priority to reinforce a focus on the ground and its critical importance to supporting and empowering people, which he described as “the final beneficiaries of OSCE output”.

“Our plan is to reach out and lend a hand to conflict-affected populations, but also to others in need,” he said. “We see the OSCE as a perpetual provider in mitigating crisis and supporting peace and thus we must take appropriate action to enable the OSCE to provide space for its versatile toolbox.”

Turning to ongoing conflicts in the OSCE area, Osmani said Ukraine will remain a central priority and a key security issue. “The unprovoked war of aggression against Ukraine has undermined the European security architecture and threatens the peace and stability of the continent and beyond,” he said.

“The Chairpersonship will also maintain the essential functions and operations of the Organization, ensuring that it is able to support areas affected by conflicts across the OSCE region. Regional instability and the potential for new crises require continued attention.”

In these critical times for European security and stability, North Macedonia’s activities as Chair will be guided by strict observance of OSCE principles and commitments, said Osmani. “Safeguarding OSCE values and respect for international law must be a shared priority. This is of utmost importance. Rebuilding trust and engaging in meaningful dialogue presupposes full compliance with the agreed OSCE commitments and principles. We all have to be accountable for our actions. This is the formula for the way forward.”

The OSCE Chair of North Macedonia will also focus on supporting sustainable economic growth and environmental co-operation, which are essential for human security and vital in the pursuit of peace and prosperity for people in the OSCE region. It will uphold human rights and promote tolerance and non-discrimination as prerequisites for comprehensive security. Reviewing the implementation of human dimension principles, the Chair will engage with youth and civil society as driving forces for building vibrant and resilient democracies.

“The OSCE has proved that it is a relevant and important part of regional and global efforts through its unique, holistic approach to security,” said Osmani. “North Macedonia will work to ensure that the OSCE remains a vital part of effective, security-related multilateral efforts.”

Minister Osmani will officially inaugurate North Macedonia’s Chairpersonship and outline its priorities at the OSCE Permanent Council meeting in Vienna on 12 January 2023.