Basel, Switzerland

04 December 2014

Secretary-General's message to the Ministerial Council of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe [delivered by Mr. Michael Moller, Acting Director-General, United Nations Office at Geneva]

It is a pleasure to convey my greetings to the Ministerial Council of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe.  I commend the Swiss government for its dynamic role as Chair-in-Office and thank them and the Swiss people for hosting this meeting.

UN-OSCE cooperation, from Georgia to Central Asia, from disarmament to the situation of minorities, is the embodiment of Chapter VIII of the UN Charter and a testament to our mutual and comprehensive understanding of human and collective security.

The vital role of the OSCE in peace and security in this region has again become evident with the crisis in Ukraine.  The United Nations stands behind your efforts to reach a peaceful solution based on the territorial integrity and sovereignty of Ukraine, and your support for the economic, social and institutional development of the country.  Your strong commitment to dialogue and consensus-building are a valuable contribution to helping the parties to overcome this crisis.

Our joint efforts are also needed to address the dramatic evolution in the nature of terrorism and extremism, outside and within this region.  We must address immediate security issues in line with international law, the UN Charter and the Helsinki Decalogue. To eliminate terrorism, we need solidarity and the politics of inclusion, responsive politicians and respect for human rights, as well as education, jobs and the rule of law. Force may stop terrorists, but only good governance can prevent and stop terrorism.

The partnership of the OSCE and the United Nations is of crucial importance in and across the three dimensions of our work: peace and security, human rights and development.  The United Nations will continue to support your indispensable role to prevent conflict, promote democratic governance and economic prosperity, and uphold and defend human rights.  I count on the OSCE and its Member States to remain strong partners of the United Nations.