Security in Europe, security for Switzerland – Federal Councillor Cassis attends OSCE Ministerial Council meeting

Bern, 03.12.2020 - On 3 December 2020, Federal Councillor Ignazio Cassis attended the virtual Ministerial Council meeting of the Organisation for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE). He called for a stronger organisation and appealed to the participating states to find a consensus solution to fill the OSCE's top positions.

Under this year's Albanian chairmanship, the 27th OSCE Ministerial Council meeting should have been held in Tirana on 3 and 4 December. Restrictions imposed by the COVID-19 pandemic meant that it was held via videoconference. In his speech, the head of the Federal Department of Foreign Affairs (FDFA) emphasised the OSCE's central role with regard to security in Europe as a whole and the importance of this for Switzerland. He spoke in favour of ensuring the good functioning of the organisation and improving its capacity to act.

Mr Cassis said that the OSCE had a wide range of instruments at its disposal to manage crises and conflicts, and must be strengthened.  This was more important than ever in view of what was happening in Belarus, the situation around Nagorno-Karabakh and the conflict in eastern Ukraine.

Cassis expressed his satisfaction that as this year's chair, Albania had presented a balanced package for the four vacant top OSCE positions and called on all participating states to come to a consensus in order to fill the posts.
He went on to stress that Switzerland would maintain its engagement in favour of the organisation: "Let us think about the day after tomorrow, so we take the right steps for tomorrow – today.”

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