VIENNA. KAZINFORM - The first special meeting of the Permanent Council of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) took place on January 14 in Vienna on the occasion of Sweden's assumption of the chairpersonship to the Organization this year, Kazinform has learnt from the press service of the Kazakh MFA.
The basic priorities of the Swedish Chairpersonship in 2021 were presented by the OSCE Chairperson-in-Office, Foreign Minister of Sweden Ann Linde in a virtual format.
According to the Chairperson-in-Office, Sweden intends to focus on the principles and commitments shared by all 57 participating States, protecting the European security order and adhering to the OSCE's concept of comprehensive security. It was stressed that the political and economic security of the OSCE region, democratic processes, the promotion of human rights, fundamental freedoms and democracy, the rule of law and gender equality through the involvement and empowerment of women will be the main areas of work of the Chairpersonship.
In turn, the Kazakh delegation expressed its support for the priorities of Sweden and focused on the need to make efforts to prevent modern challenges and threats, like the fight against terrorism and drug trafficking.
Drawing attention to the difficult international situation, the presence of conflicts and instability in the region of the Organization, it was declared the enduring relevance and importance of the implementation of the Astana Declaration on the Indivisible Eurasian and Euro-Atlantic Security, adopted 10 years ago at the last OSCE Summit in Astana in 2010.
The stabilization of the situation in Afghanistan was underlined as one of the important priorities for Kazakhstan and Central Asia, since the situation in this country directly affects the security of the entire OSCE region.
Kazakhstan's Permanent Representative to the OSCE Kairat Umarov also expressed the hope that, against the background of the negative impact of COVID-19, Sweden will pay proper attention to the economic and environmental dimension in such important issues for Central Asia as the promoting connectivity, good governance, green economy, digitalization, smart cities, water management, climate change, hazardous waste management and disaster risk reduction.