Foreign affairs Minister calls for Mediterranean OSCE representative

Foreign affairs minister reiterates call to strengthen OSCE's work in the Mediterranean region

Foreign affairs minister George Vella has reiterated Malta’s proposal of appointing a special representative for the Mediterranean within the Organization for Security Co-operation in Europe (OSCE) and emphasised the need to take the relationship with the Mediterranean Partners for Cooperation to a further level, moving beyond institutional cooperation to a more practical partnership.

Speaking at an informal OSCE Ministerial meeting on 1st September 2016 in Potsdam, Germany, Vella said that the challenges of migration and terrorism, two threats to European security are both closely related to the Mediterranean context.

The Minister emphasised that this nexus in itself justifies future measures to bolster the Euro-Mediterranean dimension within the context of the OSCE.

Vella added that the meeting provided much-needed room for discussion well ahead of the annual gathering of ministers at the formal OSCE Ministerial Council, which this year will take place in Hamburg, Germany, on 8 and 9 December.

“Common security challenges as well as recent and protracted conflicts in the OSCE area, challenges stemming from the migration and refugee crisis, terrorism and radicalization, cyber security, and the need to search for and offer together potential solutions are among the topics that ministers discussed at this meeting,” Vella said.

He added that the group would be discussing the further development of the organisation, investing in dialogue, confidence-building measures, better engagement of high-level expertise, a broader interface with the social media and international organisations, and a stronger role for the OSCE as an institution, were also delved into at length.

Speaking about arms control, Vella expressed his concern at the manifest proliferation of arms, in spite of sanctions and controls on arms and on dual-use goods. He added that had there been effective arms control Europe would not be having all these wars all around us.