In his capacity as Chairman-in-Office for the Organisation for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE), Austrian Foreign Minister, Sebastian Kurz, briefed the UN Security Council in New York on 22 February regarding Austria’s plans for its chairmanship of the OSCEin 2017 as well as on current developments in the OSCE area.
Sebastian Kurz also referred to the Austrian Chairmanship’s priorities, which are to contribute to defusing armed conflicts in the OSCE area, particularly in Eastern Ukraine; the joint fight against radicalisation and violent extremism, as well as efforts to rebuild lost trust in Europe.
With its 57 participating states, from Vancouver to Vladivostok, the OSCE is the largest regional security organisation under chapter VIII of the Charter of the United Nations. Within this framework, the OSCE continually informs the Security Council of its activities. The OSCE and the United Nations are connected by decades of cooperation, especially in terms of crisis and conflict management.
Sebastian Kurz acknowledged this profound institutional cooperation between both organisations in his talks with the new Secretary-General of the United Nations, António Guterres. The cooperation comprises political dialogue, coordination and exchange of information, joint projects in various regions and issues as well as mutual technical support. Practical collaborative projects between the OSCE and specialised agencies of the United Nations have been particularly strong and successful.
Sebastian Kurz, who is in New York at the moment, took part at the reception of “Vienna and New York: 175 Years of Two Philharmonics” at the Austrian Culture Forum New York. Both cultural institutions, the Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra and the New York Philharmonic Orchestra celebrate their 175th anniversary this year and on this occasion, both orchestras designed a joint exhibition, which was officially opened in the presence of Sebastian Kurz. The minister also met David Harris of the American Jewish Congress in this context.