Minister Kurz: "Fight against radicalization and extremism"

Presentation of the plans of the Austrian OSCE Chairmanship in 2017

“I belong to a generation that has no memory of the Cold War. For me and my generation safety, security and stability are things that have been taken for granted – also thanks to the OSCE. Today, however, the ‘block mentality’ is on the rise again. We hear mutual accusations in a language and tone young people like myself only know from history books. It is thus precisely against this background that we decided two years ago to apply for the 2017 OSCEChairmanship”, explained Foreign Minister Sebastian Kurz when presenting the plans for Austria’s Chairmanship of the OSCE in 2017 to the organisation’s Permanent Council in Vienna.

“We seek to play a pro-active role in the OSCE in order to contribute to enhancing safety and security. We are currently experiencing three central threats, which pose a risk to safety, security, stability and the common values we share in the OSCE area. These are:

1. A further aggravation of military conflicts which have already resulted in thousands of victims, displacements and destruction. We thus want to make a contribution towards defusing existing conflicts.

2. The increasing threat to domestic security posed by radicalisation of mainly young people and resulting in terrorism. We therefore need to join forces in fighting radicalisation and extremism.

3. And the increasing loss of trust between states as well as citizens’ continuing loss of confidence in governmental institutions and organisations mandated with safeguarding peace and our shared values.

We are therefore called upon to jointly re-establish and build up trust and confidence “, Foreign Minister Sebastian Kurz stated.

“In times of major upheaval and increasing levels of insecurity international and regional organisations must assume political responsibility”, Federal Minister Sebastian Kurz continued, pointing out that the Ukraine crisis had shattered trust between states while at the same time illustrating the important role played by the OSCE and its crisis management capabilities. Coming back to the plans for Austria’s OSCE Chairmanship, Foreign Minister Kurz thus stressed that, “Building on its role as an honest broker, Austria will seek to promote dialogue and cooperation in the OSCE region”.

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