OSCE Chairpersonship 2023 in North Macedonia
The new year 2023 brings a change of the chair of OSCE (Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe). The following year North Macedonia is about to take over this position. For the first time, this country will act as Chair of OSCE, which currently has 57 member states and 11 partners for cooperation.
The new OSCE Chairman-in-Office is Bujar Osmani (member of the Democratic Union for Integration, the largest ethnic Albanian political party in North Macedonia), which is currently the Minister of Foreign Affairs of North Macedonia as well. The priority of the organization should, according to him, remain in Ukraine Crisis. OSCE will continue working on mitigating crises and supporting peace in 2023. He wants to focus on “the impact on the ground and supporting and empowering people who are the final beneficiaries of the OSCE output „and highlight principles of the Helsinki Final Act “in the interest of and for the needs of the people.”
Bujar Osmani considers Russia and its aggression a key security issue. This problem undermines either the principles of OSCE and European security. The new OSCE Support Programme for Ukraine, launched in November, consists of several multidimensional projects aimed at supporting the civilian population affected by the war and further strengthening Ukraine’s institutions.
However, Europe must face such a serious security and stability issue, and OSCE must focus on other tensions across the OSCE region also. It is important that safeguarding key principles and values of OSCE and respecting international law are understood as a shared priority. B. Osmani, in his presentation for the Permanent Council of OSCE in September 2022, mentioned border management, hybrid and cyber threats, and the Women, Peace, and Security agenda as first-dimension priorities.
North Macedonia’s Chairmanship, in addition to promoting sustainable economic development and environmental cooperation as areas essential for human security, peace, and prosperity, will cooperate with youth and civil society in promoting human rights, tolerance, and non-discrimination as prerequisites for comprehensive security. This way, North Macedonia wants to work to ensure that the OSCE remains a vital part of effective, security-related multilateral efforts.
„The work awaiting North Macedonia this year is not easy, and its scale and range – enormous, “said Ambassador Adam Hałaciński, Permanent Representative of Poland to the OSCE, Chairperson of the OSCE Permanent Council.
The first official visit by Minister Osmani as OSCE Chairman-in-Office since North Macedonia began its Chairpersonship led to Kyiv, Ukraine, was completed on January 16, 2023. He met President Volodymyr Zelenskyy, the Speaker of Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine Ruslan Stefanchuk, and Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba and called on the Russian Federation to immediately end the aggression.