Poland assumes OSCE Chair for 2022

Polish Chairmanship will focus on presenting initiatives to improve understanding and ease tensions in the OSCE area, highlighted Zbigniew Rau, Poland’s Foreign Minister, and the new OSCE Chairman-in-Office

OSCE Chairman-in-Office, Minister of Foreign Affairs of Poland, Zbigniew Rau. 

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On 1 January 2022, Poland took over the OSCE Chair. Poland’s Chairmanship will focus on making progress towards a peaceful resolution of conflicts in the OSCE area, aligned with OSCE principles and commitments.

“It is an honour and a privilege to assume the Chairmanship of the OSCE for 2022. Our goal will be to continue efforts to rebuild confidence and trust, as well as to act as an honest broker and mediator between participating States,” said Zbigniew Rau, Poland’s Foreign Minister, and the new OSCE Chairman-in-Office.

Minister Rau officially inaugurated the Chairmanship and defined the priorities of Poland at the session of the OSCE Permanent Council in Vienna on 13 January 2022.

He emphasized that Poland’s efforts will be guided by a human-centered perspective and stressed that Poland’s Chairmanship of the OSCE in 2022 intends to promote and advance the rational, smart, and flexible use of the OSCE’s unique tools and negotiation formats.

“We need to reinvigorate the debate about European security. Let us start a process that will help us to uphold the Helsinki principles in full conformity with international law,” OSCE Chairman-in-Office said in his address to the Permanent Council in Vienna.

“We do not always have to be faced with negative scenarios as long as we recommit our work and our priorities to the United Nations and Helsinki founding principles, which are universal and irreplaceable,” he added.

Minister Rau also highlighted that the Polish Chairmanship will focus on presenting initiatives to improve understanding and ease tensions in the OSCE area.

“The OSCE project in its current state, with its norms and available tools, demands our proactive and positive approach. Our focus will be on improving the quality of debate in a steadily deteriorating atmosphere,” said Minister Rau.

He also marked the need to pay special attention to improving the security situation in the OSCE area, particularly by contributing to finding peaceful solutions to regional and protracted conflicts.

“It is time to put humanitarian consideration into the centre of our attention. Behind every protracted conflict there are people that suffer the most,” said Rau, emphasizing the Chairmanship’s priority of supporting societies in conflict areas, with special attention to vulnerable groups.

“It will be crucial for us to safeguard the fundamental OSCE principles and commitments enshrined in the Helsinki Final Act and subsequent documents,” added the new Chairman-in-Office. “A genuine dialogue among participating States must be based on international law principles and a strong commitment to already existing OSCE mechanisms.”

Conflicting interests require joint efforts to advance solutions, said the Chair. Thorough discussion deserves thorough attention, and the Polish Chairmanship will ensure that all voices are heard, and all advice taken into account.

The Chairmanship will also focus on economic cooperation, which is essential to the pursuit of peace and security. The ongoing COVID-19 pandemic has exposed the vulnerability and fragility of states’ economies and responding to this challenge through effective multilateralism will be one of Poland’s priorities.

“Our Organization is a joint effort and a collective exercise. Mobilizing the goodwill of the participating States is essential for the success of the exceptional endeavour that is the OSCE,” emphasized Minister Rau.

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