OSCE, Asian Partners discuss comprehensive approach to security

How the OSCE concept of promoting comprehensive security through co-operation and dialogue could also be an inspiration for Asia is the focus of an OSCE Conference with the Organization's Asian Partners - Japan, Korea, Thailand, Afghanistan, Mongolia and Australia - that started in Seoul.

A session at the two-day conference discusses multilateral security co-operation in Northeast Asia and the experience of the Corfu Process - the OSCE-anchored dialogue on the future of European security. Contributions from the Asian Partners to this process are particularly important considering the interconnectedness of European and Asian security.

"As the first Asian Country holding the OSCE Chairmanship, Kazakhstan pays special attention to the Euro-Asian dimension of our common security and is strongly committed to develop further co-operation between the OSCE and its Asian Partners in order to strengthen regional security and stability," said Kazakh Deputy Foreign Minister Konstantin Zhigalov, speaking on behalf of the 2010 OSCE Kazakh Chairmanship.

"The Asian Partners constitute a tremendous asset for the OSCE. Our dialogue and co-operation are active and dynamic. Together, we are producing interesting, concrete results."

Chun Yung-woo, Vice Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Korea, provided an update on the regional situation and stated that Korea looks forward to working closely with the OSCE to draw from its experience in building a mechanism for multilateral security in Northeast Asia.

OSCE Secretary General Marc Perrin de Brichambaut discussed the value of the OSCE's comprehensive approach to security, "based on the conviction that security requires politico-military co-operation between States, healthy economic and environmental governance and respect for the rule of law, human and democratic rights, and fundamental freedoms".

De Brichambaut also discussed the OSCE's work to promote security in and around Afghanistan, which has been an OSCE Partner for Co-operation since 2003.

Ambassador Mara Marinaki of Greece, Chairperson of the Asian Contact Group, welcomed Australia, which joined the OSCE Asian Partnership in December 2009, to its first OSCE Conference with the Asian Partners for Co-operation. Australia's interest "proves the power of attraction of the OSCE and the vitality of the Asian Contact Group", she said.

A session at the conference was devoted to women's contribution to security, with participants discussing the outcomes of a side event held Monday on the same topic. That event was the first of its kind held in the context of the OSCE Asian Partnership.