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PM stresses need for new 'security community'at OSCE summit

Δημοσίευση 2 Δεκεμβρίου 2010, 11:22 / Ανανεώθηκε 27 Ιουνίου 2013, 14:55
PM stresses need for new 'security community'at OSCE summit
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Greek prime minister George Papandreou stressed the need for a new "security community", addressing the first OSCE Summit in 11 years, that opened Wednesday in Astana, Kazakhstan. The summit, he said, provided an opportunity for renewing the member countries' commitment to the cause of regional security, but was also a challenge "given that we are in a different era, in which organised crime, drug trafficking and human trafficking, terrorism, migration due to climate change, access to drinking water, and violation of human rights, are the forms of security policy in the 21st century that need to be addressed".

Greek prime minister George Papandreou stressed the need for a new "security community", addressing the first OSCE Summit in 11 years, that opened Wednesday in Astana, Kazakhstan. The summit, he said, provided an opportunity for renewing the member countries' commitment to the cause of regional security, but was also a challenge "given that we are in a different era, in which organised crime, drug trafficking and human trafficking, terrorism, migration due to climate change, access to drinking water, and violation of human rights, are the forms of security policy in the 21st century that need to be addressed".

Papandreou said that much still remains to be done in order to have effective joint actions, and for that very reason organisations such as the OSCE have great importance, given the increasing acknowledgement that no country can, on its own, tackle problems of such magnitude. He added that, paradoxically, "we are also seeing a rekindling of nationalism", which he attributed to insecurity among people that leads them to seeking refuges rather than common solutions to the common problems.

He attributed the "return to nationalism" partially to the imbalances of the global system and to the globalised economy "that is determined by self-centered interests in the markets rather than by solidarity and cooperation".

Papandreou further referred to the international financial markets, noting an increase in inequality among countries.

"The economic crisis, in which the profits are private and the losses are 'socialised' could definitely lead to a political and social instability, and inequality, in my view, is one of the causes of the global economic imbalance," Papandreou said, and voiced backing for Kazakh President Nursultan Nazarbayev's proposal for the incorporation of economic stability in the OSCE agenda.

The Greek premier further said that the OSCE had served as a tool for the building of security in Europe since the fall of the Berlin Wall, but things today are very different "and we need less one-sidedness and more efficient multi-sidedness, lesser polarization and more cooperation, less nationalism and more internationalism, and this is why a new content of a new OSCE security community is so important".

Noting that the OSCE Summit on Corfu in 2009, during the Greek chairmanship of the organisation, had been inspired by Russian president Dmitry Medvedev's initiative for a new security agreement in Europe that aimed at building confidence among all the partners, Papandreou further welcomed the "new spirit of cooperation between NATO and Russia".

On the discussions and contacts that have been taking place over the last two years, Papandreou expressed hope that these processes in the OSCE will pave the way for a new security community.

Although 65 years have elapsed since the end of WWII, regional tensions continue to exist in various parts of the continent, undermining security in Europe as a whole, Papandreou continued, stressing that in times of economic difficulty, arms control and confidence building measures are "more important than ever", since a reduction in military spending would allow the transfer of resources to the social income, infrastructures and to the transition to green growth.

The true test for the OSCE is resolving conflicts which, although not a condition for establishing a security community, should nevertheless be the natural evolution of the entire process, he said.

Commitment for a security community is a commitment that the threat of the use of violence is no longer an option, Papandreou said, adding that it is becoming clear that military force by itself is incapable of facing the complex problems of today, and new institutions, societies need to be created that will protect the common values and promote security, human rights, freedoms, and prosperity for all.

"Democracy is more than elections. it concerns the building of good governance, institutions and prosperity," he stressed.

On climate change, Papandreou outlined the Greek initiatives on Climate Change in the Mediterranean in cooperation with Turkey and 18 more countries, and a corresponding initiative in the Black Sea with 12 countries of the region.

Another key to regional security is cooperation on the migration problem, Papandreou said, noting that this is a great source of concern for Greece given that 90 percent of illegal migrants to the EU had used the Greek borders as their gateway to the rest of the EU last year.

He noted the dual task of protecting the human dignity of both legal and illegal migrants and refugees on the one hand and on the other preserving the cohesion of the communities, which are unable to incorporate the immense number of arrivals on the Greek borders, and stressed the Greek proposal for the creation of a migration network so as to deepen and expand the dialogue on the migration problem.

Papandreou further pointed out that the OSCE was not alone in meeting the challenges, and noted the collaborations in the Mediterranean, the Middle East and Norway while, referring to the Balkans, he underlined the importance of cooperation with the NGOs and the Society of the Citizens, and adding that "if we want the OSCE to play a role globally, we need to adopt the 2007 Plan without reservations or footnotes".

He called for the deepening of the cooperation among the 56 OSCE member countries so that "our societies will become more substantive, more open and more consolidated, at the same time broadening our perception on what democracy means in the new technological era of the mass media and the internet, which allows greater participation on the one hand but on the other hand entails dangers if we allow violation of personal confidentiality".