VIENNA — The unresolved conflicts in the South Caucasus continue to represent the primary threats to the region’s stability, OSCE representative for South Caucasus said.
Addressing the OSCE Permanent Council in Vienna today Peter Semneby said “the security situation in Nagorno-Karabakh was of particular concern.”
Semneby called for the ceasefire arrangement to be strengthened, and for the EU and other international actors to step up engagement in Georgia, Armenia and Azerbaijan. “EU engagement in the South Caucasus must continue to be visible, strong and consistent,” he said.
He emphasized the importance of dedicating resources to conflict prevention. According to him, conflict prevention and mitigation require a human security approach in addition to the political approach of official negotiations and security-related deployments.
He underlined that the OSCE remained a key partner and platform for the EU in the South Caucasus, particularly in the area of democracy promotion, rule of law, human rights, and freedom of the media. “I am therefore convinced that the OSCE needs to find a way re-launch its human dimensions activities in Georgia. These activities should not be held hostage by the conflict agenda. The termination of the mission left not only a vacuum in the field of conflict prevention and resolution but also in the area of democratization and human rights,” he noted.
Semneby also discussed the EU’s Eastern Partnership with the South Caucasus and challenges to democratic development in the three countries. He emphasized the importance of dedicating resources to conflict prevention.
“Due to further conflict potential in the region, conflict prevention remains an indispensable priority alongside the handling of the existing protracted conflicts,” he said. “Conflict prevention and mitigation require a human security approach in addition to the political approach of official negotiations and security-related deployments. This approach focuses
on the role of individuals and requires a different set of instruments by the international community, such as support to civil society to allow for a strengthened civic culture and community dialogue.”
He underlined that the OSCE remained a key partner and platform for the EU in the South Caucasus, particularly in the area of democracy promotion, rule of law, human rights, and freedom of the media.
“I am therefore convinced that the OSCE needs to find a way re-launch its human dimensions activities in Georgia. These activities should not be held hostage by the conflict agenda. The termination of the mission left not only a vacuum in the field of conflict prevention and resolution but also in the area of democratization and human rights,” he said.
The Permanent Council is one of the OSCE’s main regular decision-making bodies. It convenes weekly in Vienna to discuss developments in the OSCE area and to make appropriate decisions.

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