OSCE becomes tool of certain countries’ political orders due to people like Harlem Desir

OSCE becomes tool of certain countries’ political orders due to people like Harlem Desir

BAKU, Azerbaijan, July 6


Azerbaijan became a member of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) in 1992 (then the Conference on Security and Cooperation in Europe).

OSCE is the first European organization to which Azerbaijan joined after gaining independence, which shows the importance that Azerbaijan attaches to this organization.

The OSCE was considered the most important organization and regional platform in the field of security in the Eurasian area. The organization has three main spheres of activity, namely, political-military, economic-environmental and human rights.

Azerbaijan attaches particular importance to the political-military sphere, since 20 percent of its territories have been occupied by Armenia. The Minsk Group and the institution of co-chairs of this group, created within this organization, is directly involved in the settlement of the Armenia-Azerbaijan Nagorno-Karabakh conflict.

However, although much time has passed, the OSCE Minsk Group, unfortunately, could not make progress in resolving the conflict.

Moreover, the lack of dynamic and effective solutions in the economic and environmental dimension is also regrettable.

And finally, a group of countries have turned the sphere of human rights into a tool of political pressure on others.

Thus, the OSCE, which must play a central role in ensuring security in the Eurasian area and become a guarantor of peace and security, today cannot defend its principles; it is inefficient, uses double standards and a biased approach. The OSCE has lost its credibility and turned into a feeble organization.

As a result of this ineffective activity and the policy of double standards in the European area, there is no progress in the spheres that are under the OSCE mandate.

Firstly, there is no progress in resolving the conflicts in the OSCE region; secondly, there is a sharp spread of Islamophobia, anti-Semitism and other negative trends in Europe. The OSCE does not address these important challenges.

There are a biased attitude and attempts to influence some countries, including Azerbaijan, on the basis of the political orders of a group of countries.

Of course, such an approach destroys hopes for this organization and causes regret in Azerbaijan, which attaches great importance to the cooperation with the OSCE and expects its solutions on the settlement of the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict.

The process of election to a number of key senior-level positions is currently underway within the OSCE including those of OSCE Secretary General, Director of the OSCE Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights, OSCE Representative on Freedom of the Media and OSCE High Commissioner on National Minorities.

There is a package proposal for the re-election of current officials to these posts.

Azerbaijan, pursuing the independent foreign policy and using its sovereign right as a member of the OSCE, has opposed the reappointment of Harlem Desir to the post of OSCE Representative on Freedom of the Media.

Azerbaijan believes that the activity of Desir is biased and politically motivated. He is not objective in his assessments and demonstrates different approaches towards countries. Desir does not receive information in the field of mass media from bona fide (correct and reliable) sources. All this is the gross violation of the mandate of the representative.

Desir voices the anti-Azerbaijani and a pro-Armenian position.

An analysis of his statements and tweets shows that Desir is using any minor incident in Azerbaijan to slander and smear the country. Without finding out the essence of the incident, Desir reacts to any such event in Azerbaijan hurriedly, unfairly and unreasonably.

Desir deliberately exaggerates and politicizes the problems. At the same time, he makes very few, mainly, neutral statements and comments regarding Armenia. Desir did not respond to the death of politician and journalist Mher Yeghiazaryan as a result of the hunger strike in Armenia, which raises big questions. It seems that Desir determines his attitude to the issues related to human rights based on political geography.

Some OSCE countries are conducting deliberate disinformation and a false information campaign against Azerbaijan in the European media, especially in Western Europe. Desir not only did nothing to prevent it, but also directly contributed to this process.

The spread of Islamophobia and anti-Semitism in media of the OSCE countries has increased. The results of Desir’s efforts to combat this are also unsatisfactory.

Although the problem of journalists’ illegal visits to the conflict zones was raised in various media forums, Desir always prevented this, despite the fact that there is a certain code of conduct in this regard.

Desir cannot adequately respond to new challenges. For example, no recommendations or initiatives were made regarding the activity of the media institutions of the OSCE countries under the conditions of COVID-19 pandemic and no guidelines were developed on this issue.

Furthermore, Desir does not have the necessary knowledge and experience required for his position.

How does Desir, who was charged of misuse of state property, conditionally sentenced to 18 months and fined at 30,000 francs in 1998, want to give lessons to Azerbaijan?

Azerbaijan is against the activity of Desir and his appointment was justly protested by the country. OSCE’s activity no longer corresponds to its mandate while becoming a tool of political orders of certain countries because of such people as Desir. It has lost its effectiveness and importance.

Azerbaijan’s attitude towards Desir is based not on criticism; it is reasoned by the biased attitude towards our country. The OSCE Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights also sometimes criticizes Azerbaijan. However, Azerbaijan is cooperating with this institution, while Desir is simply an inadequate person.

Another point to pay attention to is that all four of the abovementioned posts are held by people from Western Europe. How fair is this?

Azerbaijan, as an active member of the OSCE, believes that the organization must return to its basic principles and goals, and act objectively, effectively, without bias and within its mandate. For this purpose, the organization must pay special attention to the conflict settlement in the OSCE area and be active in the field of security and economy.

At the same time, the organization, within its powers of ensuring human rights, must also act fairly and without bias in accordance with its mandate. Only in this case, the OSCE will be able to restore its important role in the Eurasian area. The OSCE must be the organization of all participating countries, rather than just the US and Western Europe.

Trend News Agency’s Department of Politics

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