Poland’s 2022 OSCE Chairmanship Priorities

In his address to the Permanent Council on July 15 in Vienna, Poland’s Minister for Foreign Affairs, Zbigniew Rau, outlined priorities of his country’s 2022 OSCE Chairmanship.

VIENNA, 15 July 2021 — Poland’s OSCE Chairmanship next year will focus on supporting conflict resolution and conflict-affected populations, responding to post-COVID challenges, and embracing the OSCE’s spirit of co-operation towards implementing shared commitments, said Poland’s Minister of Foreign Affairs Zbigniew Rau in his address to the OSCE Permanent Council today.

Speaking about the guiding principles of the Polish Chairmanship, Rau recalled the Helsinki Final Act of 1975 and “its explicit envisaged intention to promote fundamental rights, economic and social progress and ensure conditions where people can live in true and lasting peace, free from any threat or attempt on their security.”

He emphasized that “it is our obligation as the OSCE to protect and support the weakest, civilians, women and children from the consequences of conflicts. We have the necessary toolbox and long-lasting experience in delivering assistance to people in need.”

The Polish Chairmanship will continue to build on the activities of previous Chairs, Rau said. “We will spare no effort in assisting participating States in fostering dialogue while guarding OSCE’s principles and commitments. Upholding the OSCE’s comprehensive concept of security in all three dimensions of security will be at the centre of our action.”

In the politico-military dimension, he pointed to arms control and confidence- and security-building measures as crucial for security in the entire OSCE area. “It is essential to continue our dialogue on increasing military transparency and risk reduction, and to emphasize the role of confidence-building measures,” Rau said, noting that Poland will pay close attention to non-military security challenges.  

In the environmental and economic dimension, the Polish Chairmanship will concentrate on the recovery and modernization of economies. Poland intends to look at the horizon beyond the COVID-19 pandemic and “how to build more resilient economies ready for future challenges,” he added.

In the human dimension, Rau underscored that the Chair’s efforts “will be guided by a human-centred perspective” and reaffirmed the Chair’s political support for the work of the OSCE institutions: the Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights (ODIHR), the High Commissioner on National Minorities and the Representative on Freedom of the Media (RFOM).

Poland will take over the OSCE Chairmanship from Sweden on 1 January 2022 with Rau serving as OSCE Chairperson-in-Office. This is the second time that Poland will chair the Organization, with its previous Chairmanship held in 1998.

Text: OSCE (with small adaptions)

Photo: OSCE/Micky Kroell