OSCE Secretary General Helga Maria Schmid concluded yesterday a two-day visit to Sweden for discussions with the OSCE Chairperson-in-Office and Sweden’s Minister for Foreign Affairs Ann Linde.
“The Minister and I have already been working closely since Sweden’s tenure as Chair began in January, and I am pleased to have such a strong advocate for multilateralism leading the OSCE this year,” Schmid said. “As my first country visit as OSCE Secretary General, it underscores the importance I place on supporting the OSCE Chair in their efforts to build security throughout the OSCE region.”
The Secretary General’s talks addressed how to work together to support the Chair’s priorities across the OSCE comprehensive security agenda, as well as how to ensure the Organization has the resources it needs, and uses them effectively.
Discussions included ways in which the Chair and Secretariat can support efforts to address and resolve the ongoing conflicts and crises in the OSCE area, including concrete steps to improve the situation of people affected by conflicts. They highlighted how working effectively across the OSCE agenda and structures, including in addressing transnational threats, is important to support sustainable progress.
Linde and Schmid agreed that further engaging civil society and youth and advancing gender equality, particularly the women, peace and security agenda and women’s economic empowerment, is essential to comprehensively building security. Schmid also met members of the Swedish Women’s Mediation Network to discuss how to strengthen women’s roles in peace processes in practice and to support the role of women mediator networks.
The Secretary General met the Head of the Swedish Delegation to the OSCE Parliamentary Assembly, Johan Büser, and Deputy Head of the Swedish Delegation and Vice President of the OSCE Parliamentary Assembly, Margareta Cederfelt. They agreed on the value of strengthening cooperation with the Parliamentary Assembly and parliamentarians across the OSCE agenda.
Reflecting on the Secretary General’s visit, Chairperson-in-Office Linde said, “The Secretary General and I have had fruitful discussions in Stockholm on how we can continue to collaborate in addressing security challenges in the region and supporting participating States throughout 2021. In these challenging times, it is crucial that the OSCE continues to deliver political accountability and contributes to conflict resolution in line with the commitments that all participating States have agreed to.”
Source Text: OSCE/Press Department
Photo: OSCE/MFA Sweden