Crisis of confidence at the core of security challenges, says Kazakh Deputy Foreign Minister

A crisis of confidence lies at the core of security challenges facing the OSCE region Kazakh Deputy Foreign Minister Konstantin Zhigalov said today at the opening of the OSCE Annual Security Review Conference.

The three-day meeting aims to enhance the dialogue on security among the Organization's 56 participating States.

"We see the crisis of confidence as our main problem. The stagnation of the arms control regime, the difficulties to resolve protracted conflicts and restoring an OSCE Mission to Georgia, all of which will be at the centre of our Conference's discussions, provide graphic confirmation of this crisis of confidence or trust," said Zhigalov, representing Kazakhstan's 2010 OSCE Chairmanship.

"As the OSCE Chairmanship, we see our main task in ensuring a rapprochement in the positions of the participating States and searching for mutually acceptable solutions in the interest of universal peace and security."

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He welcomed work to update the 1999 OSCE Vienna Document, saying this would "increase the degree of confidence and the effectiveness of the co-operation among the OSCE countries considerably." The Vienna Document is a confidence- and security-building measure that requires participating States to share information on armed forces and military activities.

Zhigalov said the OSCE-anchored dialogue on the future of European security known as the Corfu Process was a "unique chance for a renewal of the spirit of co-operation" and that the Kazakh OSCE Chairmanship hoped this dialogue and the OSCE's work in general would lead to mutual understanding, similar to what was achieved between Russia and the United States with the new START treaty.

He said that the Conference would contribute to the Corfu Process, which will be further discussed at the informal meeting of OSCE Foreign Ministers, to be held in Almaty, Kazakhstan, in mid-July.

Regarding the crisis in Kyrgyzstan, Zhigalov expressed condolences for the loss of lives and said that it was "important to continue the active co-ordination of OSCE activities in efforts to stabilize the situation."

Discussing Georgia, Zhigalov said the Chairmanship was "in favour of strengthening the OSCE's role in the region, in particular through the creation of a support group which could pay regular visits to the region. The question of restoring the OSCE's field presence in Georgia is undoubtedly a matter of importance."

The conference's working sessions will focus on transnational threats and challenges; the role of the OSCE in early warning, conflict prevention and resolution, crisis management and post-conflict rehabilitation; the role and perspectives of arms control and confidence- and security-building regimes in building trust in the evolving security environment; threats and challenges stemming from the territory of Afghanistan and the OSCE's contribution to stability in the region; and a review of OSCE police-related activities.