Remarks of Albania at the special session of the OSCE Annual Security Review Conference as delivered by Ms. Megi Fino, Deputy Minister for Europe and Foreign Affairs of Albania 28 June 2022, Vienna

Thank you, Mr. Chairperson,
The OSCE is not the same since 24 February and it will never be the same. This year, the conference comes at the most difficult time for our region and the OSCE due to Russia’s ongoing war of aggression against Ukraine, in flagrant violation of the UN Charter, the Final Helsinki Act, the Charter of Paris, and other principles and commitments. We condemn Russia’s acts in the strongest terms and stand in solidarity with Ukraine, its Government, and its people. We fully support Ukraine’s independence, sovereignty and territorial integrity, and its right to choose its own future.
We welcomed the Polish Chair’s initiative to renew the dialogue on European security in OSCE at the outset of this year. A genuine dialogue on the full implementation and modernization of the existing commitments in the Politico-Military Dimension was indeed what was needed for enhancing military transparency, confidence and risk reduction amid growing tensions. This is what we should have been discussing here today. It is regretful that Russia did not use this opportunity to ease tensions, but chose instead to wage a bloody war against its peaceful neighbour.
This war continues to cause immense suffering, daily loss of civilian lives, destruction of civilian infrastructure, mass forced deportations, conflict-related sexual and gender-based violence, and a humanitarian, economic and food crisis that is felt in Ukraine, in the region, and beyond. Albania supports the international mechanisms in pursuit of accountability and justice for Russia’s crimes in Ukraine, including through the Moscow Mechanism. Together with our allies, we will stand with Ukraine politically and practically until the end.
We value the contribution of all OSCE executive structures to strengthen comprehensive security across the region. We deplore that Russia chose to block consensus for the renewal of the mandates of the Border Observed Mission, the Special Monitoring Mission to Ukraine, and the Project Coordinator in Ukraine, depriving our Organization of these valuable instruments and weakening it further.
Other conflicts and crises in our region deserve our continued attention. Conflict resolution efforts and relevant negotiation formats are also suffering the effects of Russia’s war.
Transnational threats, terrorism, and organized crime in the OSCE also claim lives and put a heavy burden on livelihoods and our economies. Recalling the Tirana Ministerial Council declaration on strengthening co-operation in countering transnational organized crime, we must rely on continuity and common action if we are to be effective.
The role of the OSCE in implementing the Women, Peace and Security agenda is all the more important today. As a promoter of gender equality and women’s empowerment both at home and abroad, since leading the OSCE in 2020, Albania, together with its partners, has intensified efforts for a stronger mobilization for mainstreaming gender equality in all OSCE activities and initiatives. We urge for this agenda to be unifying. Similarly, the engagement of young people remains essential for establishing a culture of peace, dialogue, justice, peaceful coexistence, trust and reconciliation.
We have all recognized that peace and security in the OSCE region is linked to that of our adjacent regions. We call for the momentum in OSCE’s engagement with our Mediterranean and Asian partners to be maintained and even strengthened. We welcome and support the OSCE efforts in addressing the consequences that developments in Afghanistan have in our region.
We should keep a close eye also on attempts and influences aimed at stirring trouble in the Western Balkans, where the situation has been stable for decades but cannot be taken for granted. The OSCE field operations there, are a steadfast contributor to our security and able to make a difference on the ground. They should be given the adequate means and resource to carry out their mandates. Albania remains firmly committed to peace, stability, prosperity and cooperation in our neighbourhood. We should advance democratic processes and EU integration – an aspiration embraced by all six countries in the region – as soon as possible as an assurance against potential troubles.
Mr. Chair, dear colleagues,
We still believe that the OSCE has a crucial role to play for peace and security. We can still do great work where others cannot or will not venture.
But now respect for our principles and commitments must be restored and we must make every effort to that end. This principled approach will continue to guide Albania’s work here in the OSCE, at the UN Security Council, and throughout the international arena. We hope that for the 50th anniversary of the Final Helsinki Act in 2025, the OSCE will turn an important corner toward greater and genuine security, stability, dialogue, and effectiveness.
Thank you!


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