Note:Your browser doesn't correctly display this page because of a bad stylesheets interpretation. This is probably due to an old browser version.

[Luxembourg 2005 Presidency of the Council of the European Union]
 Version française        

You are here : Home > News > Speeches > May 2005 > OSCE, Permanent Council No 555: EU Statement in response to the Head of the OSCE Centre in Dushanbe, Ambassador Alain Couanon
Print this page Send this page

OSCE, Permanent Council No 555: EU Statement in response to the Head of the OSCE Centre in Dushanbe, Ambassador Alain Couanon

Date of Speech : 12-05-2005

Place : Vienna

Speaker : Jacques Reuter, permanent representative of Luxembourg to the OSCE

Policy area : General Affairs and External Relations

The European Union warmly welcomes Ambassador Alain Couanon on the occasion of his first appearance before the Permanent Council. We thank him for his comprehensive report and wish him every success for his work and the Centre’s activities.

The Partnership and Co-operation Agreement recently signed by the EU and Tajikistan stands for the importance we attach to our co-operation with the latter as well as with the other countries of Central Asia. The European Union has proven its readiness to further strengthen this co-operation in order to enhance peace, security and sustainable development throughout the region. Based on a co-operative and comprehensive approach to security, the OSCE provides a unique framework to this end.

The European Union encourages Ambassador Couanon to develop strategic long-term programmes in all dimensions. We welcome the set up of a new programme in support of Tajik efforts in the disposal of conventional ammunition and the destruction of small arms and light weapons. The proposed activities in the political-military and human dimensions underline the inherent link between security and human rights.

A free civil society, allowing everybody to fully participate in public life, is a safeguard against conflict and instability. The European Union shares the assessment that activities aimed at strengthening civil society should remain high on the agenda of the Centre. Activities of the Centre focussing on capacity building of women’s NGOs have proven to be particularly valuable and very much appreciated. Future activities could also address concerns related to limited access of women to decision-making positions within public authorities and institutions.

The European Union welcomes efforts of the Tajik government to reform the judiciary. The introduction of life imprisonment as an alternative to the death penalty is a first step on the way to its complete abolition which the European Union consistently advocates. Activities of the Centre in support of the legal and judicial reform, such as the trial monitoring programme, will help building confidence of civil society in the judiciary.

There is no stable society without free media. They are a precondition for a responsive public administration, good governance and economic development. Free media serve as a watchdog, as an early warning system that detects problems and helps developing counter strategies at an early stage. Therefore, the European Union is alarmed at the suspension of some independent newspapers in Tajikistan as well as the closing of the independent printing house Jionhon. We urge Tajik authorities to make full use of the assistance offered by the Centre and the Representative on Freedom of the Media.

A stable basis for democratic development can only be achieved by holding free and fair elections. The European Union appreciates the recommendations of the Election Observation Mission regarding the recent Parliamentary Elections in Tajikistan and considers them a very useful set of tools on the way forward, towards free and fair elections in the future. We are ready to assist in a process ensuring progressive implementation of those recommendations by the Tajik authorities. Such process should draw on the expertise of the Centre in close co-operation with ODIHR and other OSCE institutions. We encourage in particular all efforts aimed at strengthening a vibrant multi party system which would allow all citizens, all candidates and voters, to freely present and discuss their views. In this context, the European Union would be grateful to receive further information on the cases of Rustam Fayziev, Deputy Chairman of the unregistered Taraqqiot Party, as well as Mahmadruzi Iskandarov, Chairman of the Democratic Party.

The EU took note of the Tajik authorities’ desire to see greater OSCE involvement in the fight against drugs. We encourage the Centre in Dushanbe to explore possibilities to develop projects in this field in close co-operation with the Tajik government and other relevant actors, including the EU.

In concluding, the European Union encourages Ambassador Couanon to team up with other Heads of Centre in the region and help the Centres to re-inforce each other further in promoting joint activities, including in the field of labour migration, aimed at enhancing regional co-operation in all dimensions of OSCE activities.

The Acceding Countries Bulgaria and Romania and the Candidate Countries Turkey and Croatia* align themselves with this statement.

*Croatia continues to be part of the Stabilisation and Association Process

This page was last modified on : 13-05-2005

Top Top