OSSE-PF Statement by Mr Björn Söder in the 3rd Committee of the Winter Meeting 2023 of the OSCE Parliamentary Assembly.
The last centuries have laid the groundwork for individual freedoms and political rights that we as citizens enjoy today. The right to freely express ourselves and contribute to political changes in the nations that we live in have strengthened our communities and made us all prosperous. It’s our responsibility to continue building a strong foundation on which these norms can continue to prosper.
People in Europe and onwards are challenged in their chance of living a decent life. Ukraine instantly comes to mind. The severe maltreatment of a whole country’s population at the hands of Russia is deplorable. Russia’s war of aggression serves only to worsen peoples’ lives and to put Europe in the most difficult security situation since the Second World War. In this moment we must support Ukraine and acknowledge the great courage and resilience the Ukrainians have shown for a whole year.
The main focus for security issues in Europe has during the last year been on Ukraine, rightfully so. While we encourage and support Ukraine to the fullest, we must also remember the other security related questions our organization deals with.
Lukashenka’s tyranny in Belarus must not be forgotten. The last so called election in Belarus shows how authoritarian politicians stay in power at the cost of people’s fundamental freedoms. Lukashenka has for almost 30 years cemented his position as a dictator and imprisoned oppositional movements against his tyranny.
In July and August last year, monuments and grave sites of Polish resistance fighters during World War II were vandalized and demolished. Its severe mistreatment is a way for Lukashenka to dismiss Polish resilience and the great struggle the Poles faced when invaders from the East came. Lukashenka’s actions cannot, under any circumstances be tolerated.
We must provide the necessary resources so that it becomes possible for people to contribute to a prospering community. Other political deadlocks in Europe, like the one in Nagorno Karabach, need to be dealt with.
As it stands today, the Lachin corridor is not a sustainable solution as we see people in need not getting the necessary resources. Food, medicines and other resources are not being delivered to the area creating a great humanitarian catastrophe. It is a most dire situation and a clear violation against the trilateral agreement between Azerbaijan, Armenia and Russia created in 2020.
It is the responsibility of our organization to create a stronger foundation on which discussions can be taken to resolve the issue. If we do not do this, thousands of people will continue to suffer in Ukraine, Belarus and in Nagorno Karabach. It is time to take action and to seriously consider what can be done to secure the rights and health of the people in the OSCE region.