Cakaj: We are working for a successful Albanian OSCE Chairmanship

In the course of a joint press conference with the head of the OSCE Secretariat Thomas Greminger, Acting Minister for Europe and Foreign Affairs Gent Cakaj stated that efforts are being put forth to ensure successful Albanian Chairmanship of the Organisation in 2020.
‘To Albania, assumption of the OSCE Chairmanship in 2020 is the most important process in the history of multilateral commitments since its membership in the NATO,’ Cakaj said.
Cakaj stated that in his meeting with the Secretary General talks centred around elements conducive to close cooperation to go on during the Albanian Chairmanship 2020, as well.
‘We are firmly focused on three aspects: political, financial, and human resources. Firstly, the political aspect concerns finalisation of priorities. Secondly, the Government is making available all the financial resources required to facilitate the chairmanship. Thirdly, the best and most committed diplomats have already been posted to our Mission based in Vienna, and a Task Force has to that effect been set up in Tirana,’ Cakaj said.
Acting Minister for Europe and Foreign Affairs Gent Cakaj stated that assumption of the OSCE Chairmanship is a major responsibility, which Albania has earned.
Cakaj also acknowledged the work put in by the OSCE Presence in Tirana.
On his part, Thomas Greminger highly commended Albania’s preparations for the OSCE Chairmanship.
‘I would like to commend Albania for its preparations, and Acting Minister Cakaj for setting the tone in drawing up a preliminary outline of priorities in Vienna,’ Greminger said.
 
Press Conference
 
Acting Minister Gent Cakaj:
Greetings to all, and thank you for being present. Today I had the special honour to receive in a meeting the OSCE Secretary General Mr. Greminger, with whom we will continue to work closely under the Albanian Chairmanship in 2020, as well.
Such visit takes place subsequent to Albania’s intensive preparations to assume the chairmanship of the Organisation for Security and Cooperation in Europe.
Two weeks ago, in Vienna, Albania laid out its priorities for the OSCE Chairmanship-in-office. We are working together with the Secretary General to improve on such priorities so that they reflect the overall willpower and the specific opinions of all the participating countries.
To Albania, assumption of the OSCE Chairmanship in 2020 is the greatest political and diplomatic success in the framework of its multilateral commitments, since its membership in the NATO. For these and other reasons, in chairing the OSCE Albania will be inspired by the sense of responsibility, and will be motivated by its determination to make a contribution to security, stability, and overall democratisation of the Continent.
Albania will carry on the good work done under the current Chairmanship, as well as the maximum efforts made under the preceding Chairmanships, in order to prevent, manage, and resolve conflicts in the OSCE area, with focus being put specifically into the crisis in and around Ukraine.
Particular attention will also be given to addressing the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict, and the consequences of the conflict in Georgia. We will be committed to promoting good governance and the anti-corruption principles across the area in which the Organisation is active.
Likewise, we will be addressing the shared efforts of all the participating countries of the Organisation so as to prevent trafficking in human beings, and fight the culture surrounding impunity overall.
For the following year, Albania has set up the specific priority of working hard on promoting the universality of human rights and fundamental freedoms.
Under the Albanian Chairmanship, the youth will certainly have a particular role to play, with this being established as a cross-dimensional priority of the Albanian Chairmanship, not only because of the fact that, in this aspect, Albania may lead with its own example, but also proceeding from the need that the youth must not be treated merely as the next generation, but as a generation that needs to receive attention at present, and empower its role across the society and institutions overall.
Likewise, it is worth mentioning here that under the Albanian Chairmanship particular attention will be given to the role of women in peace processes internationally.
Albania joined the Organisation in 1991, and has ever since benefited a great deal in many institutional aspects, particularly during the transition period, so as to develop into a more powerful state cherishing democratic values, and certainly respecting the fundamental rights.
Nearly three decades later, now Albania is approaching a historic moment, and has already started preparations to assume chairmanship of this Organisation so as to make an important contribution to it.
By investing into effective multilateralism, and joining the states sharing a similar way of thinking and acting, I am positive that all together we will become stronger in protecting our interests, reinforcing security, and promoting the shared values around the universal rights.
Today, the Secretary General and I discussed many other technical, logistical, and organisational issues of common interest. Presently, and this is for the purpose of informing the public opinion, we are focused on three main dimensions: political, financial, and organisational or human resources.
Firstly, with regard to the political aspect, we have laid out the preliminary general priorities of the Albanian Chairmanship for 2020.
Secondly, with regard to the financial and maybe also the logistical aspect, Albania has already allotted a specific budget earmarked to help cope with all the challenges, related to the chairmanship of this Organisation, that may arise in the succeeding year.
Thirdly, with regard to the organisational and institutional aspect, I would also like to avail myself of this opportunity to let you know that Albania has already consolidated its team that will be instrumental in the OSCE Chairmanship, and has set up the Task Force in Tirana, which is absolutely operational, and has completed the Albanian Mission based in Vienna, which will soon be totally operational, as well.
As of next September, Albania’s entire institutional machinery will be operating at full capacity. I would also like to seize the opportunity to particularly commend the work of the Task Force in Tirana, and Albania’s OSCE Mission for their proactive approach and very productive work.
The OSCE Secretary General and I have also developed an extensive package of common commitments, establishing patterns that will be of use in the future, too.  We have for the first time drawn up joint guidelines, and an agenda for the necessary trainings of the staffs to be involved in the Albanian OSCE Chairmanship.
Finally, I would also like to take this opportunity to maximally appreciate the role played by the OSCE Presence in Tirana, which is assisting, and prioritising its programmes and projects fully in consultation with the Government of Albania.
Cooperation with the Secretary General of this Organisation has played a crucial role in Albania’s achievements hitherto, and it will continue to have that role also in Albania’s efforts to deliver the task of Chairmanship of this Organisation in the succeeding year in a most qualitative manner.
Once again, I would like to point out that, by assuming the OSCE Chairmanship, Albania has taken on an extraordinary challenge, which is yet indicative of the deserved international appreciation for its active role in promoting democratic values, security, and stability internationally.
I give the Secretary the floor.
Thank you so much.
 
 
OSCE Secretary General Thomas Greminger:
 
Thank you very much Minister!
Ladies and Gentleman good morning! Thank you for your interest. I’m here in a working visit in the context of the preparations for Albania’s 2020 OSCE chairmanship.
I would want to comment Albanian’s preparations so far and I look forward to further developing and strengthening our relationship during the coming year. I would like to thank Acting Foreign Minister Gent Cakaj for taking the time to discuss these preparations in detail and I want to commend him for setting just the right tone that he presented the Albanian key priorities to the Permanent Council in Vienna on the 11th of July.
Latter, this morning I will also meet with Prime Minister Rama and President Meta.
Ladies and Gentleman, chairing the OSCE is not an easy endeavor and it is clearly not only an undertaking by diplomats, by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, it should be supported by the entire government, I would even say it should be supported by the entire Albania nation.
It requires investing time, efforts and resources. I have no doubts that Albania can successfully undertake this exercise and neither do the other 56 OSCE participating states. Although very challenging it will be politically a very rewarding experience and it will raise Albania’s international profile.
It is a great opportunity to learn more about the work and the responsibility of chairing a multilateral security organization, about addressing common challenges to peace and stability in our region and also to further expand awareness about the OSCE and its values to Albanian audiences.
On the other hand it is a chance for the OSCE community to learn more about Europe dynamic nations, call Albanian diplomatic and secure expertise, learn from these country regional security perspectives.
I believe this is a great opportunity for Albania to take a political leadership role and show maturity on its European path. A good OSCE chairmanship will be the strongest argument for progress on the EU accession path and it will be the strongest argument for UN Security Council candidacy.
As an OSCE chair Albania should lead by example and show others that the best way to resolve conflict is to dialogue. Chairing a multilateral organization clearly requires united Albania. Albania will not go at it alone next year. It can rely on the full expertise and the resources of the OSCE Secretariat, OSCE institutions, me personally and the support and guidance of previous chairmanships. We will offer support for preparations as we have done with all previous chairmanships.
Ladies and gentleman, dear Minister, we have a common commitment to making Albania 2020 a success for the benefit of all. Let’s make this a win-win. A win for Albania and a win the OSCE.
Thank you!

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