Slovakia now officially chairing the OSCE

Situation in Ukraine will be one of the focuses of the chairmanship.

FAM Miroslav LajčákFAM Miroslav Lajčák (Source: SITA)

On January 1, Foreign Affairs Minister Miroslav Lajčák assumed the presidency of the Organisation for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE) on behalf of Slovakia.

The Slovak chairmanship "aims to be ambitious in promoting dialogue, trust and stability in the OSCE area".

"But we also have to be realistic: the challenges and complexities are rife. Any further deterioration in the safety and lives of people in our societies is unjustifiable," Lajčák said on January 1.

The three priorities of the Slovak presidency should be to prevent and mitigate the consequences of conflicts, and to secure future and effective multilateralism, under the presidency’s headline slogan "A Presidency Focused on People".

Lajčák, who will serve as the Chairperson-in-Office of the organisation throughout 2019, will present the presidential priorities in the OSCE headquarters in Vienna on January 10.

Within the presidency, Slovakia will organise and co-organise some 50 events, including an informal meeting of foreign ministers in the summer, the TASR newswire reported.

“The presidency’s top event – the largest in Slovakia’s modern history – will be a meeting of the OSCE Ministerial Council in December 2019, with around 70 national delegations expected to take part,” the Foreign Affairs Ministry stated as quoted by TASR.

The top-level international conferences that will be held in Slovakia in connection with the presidency will also deal with anti-Semitism, violent extremism, the economy and the environment, cyber-security, and the governance and reform of the security sector.

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