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Speeches, 12/8/2017

Statement by Minister Soini at the OSCE Ministerial Council

Statement by Foreign Minister Timo Soini at the OSCE Ministerial Council, Vienna 7 December 2017.

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Mr. Chair, Secretary General, Excellencies,
Ladies and Gentlemen,
Mr. Chair,

Yesterday we celebrated the 100th anniversary of the independence of Finland. The OSCE, including the Helsinki Final Act, is an important part of Finland's history. And the OSCE continues to provide key principles for rules based international order. Adhering to this order is fundamental in ensuring better life and future to our citizens.

The ongoing conflict in Ukraine is a result of non-compliance of these principles. Russia's illegal annexation of Crimea and actions in and around Ukraine are not acceptable.  The situation also overshadows our work here in the OSCE. We call for full implementation of the Minsk Agreement. The SMM should be guaranteed a full and safe access to the whole area of its mandate.

Neither should we forget the protracted conflicts in Georgia, Moldova and Nagorno-Karabakh.

Mr. Chair, let me highlight three other topical issues:

First: We need to pay much more attention to radicalization in our countries. I am grateful for Austria for having brought this issue on the agenda. I have myself started a campaign in Finnish schools in order to promote a dialogue among youth on how to prevent violent radicalization. It has been gratifying to learn how interested the young are to work against this phenomenon. As political leaders we need to lead and show example. Hence, I invite you to organize similar campaigns.

Secondly: improving cyber security is crucial.  My simple, but important message is: the implementation of international law and human rights needs to be ensured also in the cyberspace.

Lastly: In the Helsinki Final Act we committed ourselves to resolve conflicts by peaceful means. This needs to be taken seriously. Mediation is one of my priorities and I call for strengthening OSCE’s mediation capacities and increasing participation of women in mediation.

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Updated 12/8/2017

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