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Athens News Agency: News in English, 07-11-30

Athens News Agency: News in English Directory - Previous Article - Next Article

From: The Athens News Agency at <>


  • [01] Greece to assume OSCE Presidency in 2009

  • [01] Greece to assume OSCE Presidency in 2009

    Greece will assume the Presidency of the Organisation for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) in 2009, following a decision taken on Friday by the Organisation's Ministerial Session in Madrid.

    Commenting on the development, Foreign Minister Dora Bakoyannis said that "it is a great honour for Greece to assume the Presidency of the OSCE for the year 2009. It is a considerable challenge for Greece, since we will be assuming the Presidency of the biggest Security Organisation in the world."

    The foreign minister further said that it is an Organisation "that promotes regional security through peaceful coexistence from Vancouver to Vladivostock," adding that it is an Organisation "whose devotion to democracy has been proved 'in the field' with success."

    She went on to say that "we shall use all the means at our disposal to handle with success the expectations of the member-states and to increase the effectiveness of the ODCE."

    Bakoyannis further pointed out that "the world is faced with a series of great challenges. Terrorism is threatening the state of law and democracy. The dissemination of weapons of mass destruction is placing the world in danger" and "organised crime, combined with the failed countries, spread violence beyond national borders."

    Lastly, Bakoyannis said that "Greece expresses its gratitude to the Foreign Minister of Spain, M. Moratinos, for his zeal and for his indefatigable efforts as President. We also thank the Foreign Minister I. Kanerva and the Finnish presidency that is assuming the guidance of the Organisation in 2008."

    Earlier, Bakoyannis addressed the Organisation's Ministerial Session, underlining the crucial role of the OSCE in promoting stability and prosperity in southeastern Europe.

    The foreign minister placed emphasis on the need for the continuation of the OSCE's presence in Kosovo, that was a focal issue on the agenda and referred to the great importance of "the observance of principles of good neighbourliness and understanding by all the countries in the region."

    Bakoyannis also referred to another major issue preoccupying the Madrid Session, the fate of the Treaty on Conventional Weapons which highlights the conflict between the two major powers that are jointly housed in the OSCE.

    "The Agreement on Conventional Weapons has contributed for 17 years to security, stability, pre-emptiveness and transparency and remains the cornerstone of European architecture in security," she said and appealed for the finding of a mutually acceptable solution.

    Referring to the Open Horizons Agreement, the foreign minister said that "we encourage and welcome every new accession to the Agreement" and expressed her regret over the fact tat Cyprus's accession application is still pending.

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