Ambassador Jeffrey DeLaurentis
Acting Deputy Representative to the United Nations
New York, New York
May 4, 2023
Thank you, Mr. President. I’d also like to thank Foreign Minister Osmani for your participation today and North Macedonia’s principled leadership at the OSCE.
Your comments about Ukraine were particularly impactful. From the civilians brutalized by Russia’s missiles in Uman and other cities last Friday, to the children Russia has forcibly transferred and deported, the human cost of Russia’s aggression is immeasurable, and the damage to Ukraine’s infrastructure is massive.
As you highlighted, Minister Osmani, the OSCE has been at the forefront of the international community’s efforts to shine a light on the actions of the Russian Federation’s military forces in Ukraine through the superb fact-finding and reporting resulting from repeated invocations of the OSCE’s Moscow Mechanism by as many as 45 participating states.
The rapporteurs who prepared these reports were professionals in their fields, scrupulous in documenting findings of brutality and disregard for innocent lives. Moscow Mechanism rapporteurs have likewise revealed the violence of the Belarus regime’s efforts to suppress dissent and the Kremlin’s crackdown on all voices critical of its policies and efforts to strangle free media.
Today in Vienna, a Moscow Mechanism report on the forcible transfer and/or deportation of Ukrainian children to Ukrainian territory temporarily occupied by Russian forces or to the Russian Federation itself is being presented. A further report on Belarus is in progress.
We hope everyone will read these reports given the grave human rights crisis in Belarus, and the unconscionable actions of the Russian Federation, which will inevitably have implications for regional security.
Mr. President, we believe regional organizations and their cooperation with the United Nations are more important than ever in helping to maintain international peace and security. As the world’s largest regional security organization, the OSCE’s close cooperation with the UN is essential to ensuring this Council can deliver on its mandate for international peace and security.
The United States welcomes the cooperation between the UN and the OSCE as they worked together to prevent the reignition of violence in post-conflict situations, including through the close cooperation of OSCE field operations with UN agencies and missions. One such example is the OSCE Mission in Kosovo, which is a partner of the UN Mission in Kosovo, or UNMIK.
Despite Russia’s efforts to obstruct the OSCE and sabotage its budget, the OSCE has continued to operate, contributing to regional peace and security, including with the donor-funded Support Program for Ukraine to replace the Special Monitoring Mission that Russia forced to close.
The United States values the OSCE as a vehicle for effective multilateralism and promoting respect for human rights and fundamental freedoms, arms control, regional stability, post-conflict reconciliation, confidence and security building measures, economic prosperity, and sustainable environmental policies.
We hope that through continued cooperation with the OSCE on shared agenda items such as these, the UN, and by extension the entire international community, can leverage strengths and realize lasting benefits.
Thank you, Mr. President.