Greening economy, partnerships and trust crucial to future of security in OSCE region, say participants at OSCE Forum in Prague

18-09-2017, 17:31 | Comments: 0
Greening economy, partnerships and trust crucial to future of security in OSCE region, say participants at OSCE Forum in Prague6 September 2017. Greening the economy and building partnerships and trust are the key to greater security and stability in the OSCE region, highlighted participants in the 25th OSCE Economic and Environmental Forum which opened today in Prague.

The Deputy Foreign Minister of the Czech Republic, Martin Tlapa, said that the link between the environment, the economy and security is clear. “We know that a greener economy brings more benefit and creates greater stability,” said Tlapa.

“Over the 25 years of its existence, the OSCE Economic and Environmental Forum has proven to be suited for a multifaceted debate, encouraging the implementation of measures to efficiently boost our economies, protect our environment and strengthen our partnerships. Only once such measures are in place will we be able to enhance stability, security and resilience in the OSCE area,” he said.

Hans Jörg Schelling, Austrian Minister of Finance, speaking on behalf of the 2017 OSCE Austrian Chairmanship, said that awareness of the bigger picture has always distinguished the OSCE. “The OSCE focuses on economic and environmental policies, not in isolation, but with an understanding of the context in which these policies exist and are implemented, and an awareness of their relevance to security.”

The OSCE’s 57 participating States together comprise 1.2 billion people and are responsible for 50 per cent of global trade. “The OSCE could once again wield the political clout that it did during its early period,” said Schelling.

Vuk Žugić, Co-coordinator of OSCE Economic and Environmental Activities, stressed the importance of strengthening the political will of the 57 OSCE participating States and building consensus among them. “For a quarter of a century, both high level decisions and practical activities have emerged from Forum deliberations. Transforming the recommendation of the Forum into action will require further efforts and political will to consolidate these results and pave the way to a successful Ministerial Council in Vienna in December,” said Žugić.

Olga Algayerova, Executive Secretary of the United Nations Economic Commission for Europe (UNECE), said that additional action is needed at the international level, in particular to deepen partnerships. “A green economy fosters economic progress while ensuring environmental sustainability and social equity. The Sustainable Development Goals are our priority and if we are to progress, our long-standing co-operation with the OSCE will make a difference.”

Jeffrey Sachs, Special Adviser to the UN Secretary General on the Sustainable Development Goals, stressed that the OSCE is on the right track as a multilateral institution, tackling three of the world’s critical challenges: economy, environment and security. “We must be practical and I hope that the OSCE can define a specific agenda to work together with relevel partners, focusing on the main challenges: energy transition, food security, public health, early warning systems and resilience and adaptation.”

During the three-day Forum, senior government officials, experts from academia, NGOs and representatives of international organizations will discuss environmental co-operation, connectivity and economic participation.

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