SCE Secretary General Helga Maria Schmid highlighted the organization’s distinctive approach in addressing shared challenges regionally during the 30th OSCE Ministerial Council in Skopje. Emphasizing the OSCE’s role in holding participants accountable based on principles agreed upon nearly 50 years ago in Helsinki, Schmid pointed out the organization’s unique value in fostering regional solutions.

She provided examples of the OSCE’s work, such as supporting Central Asian states in dealing with repercussions from the Taliban’s actions in Afghanistan. Schmid highlighted ongoing projects, amounting to EUR 77 million, funded by various donors to address regional challenges.

Moreover, she commended the OSCE’s response in Ukraine despite closing missions last year. Funding from 30 participating states and the EU has supported 20 projects addressing issues stemming from the conflict.

Schmid expressed pride in upholding OSCE principles alongside esteemed colleagues and leaders across several chairs. She underscored the OSCE’s tailored solutions to local challenges, particularly in engaging underrepresented groups like minorities, youth, and women. She emphasized the organization’s efforts to combat gender-based violence and promote women’s roles in various spheres, launching initiatives to support women peace-builders and mediators.

In addition to these efforts, Schmid highlighted the OSCE’s work in cybersecurity, connectivity, anti-corruption, and other areas. She acknowledged record levels of extra-budgetary contributions during her tenure, emphasizing the OSCE’s crucial role in the security architecture.

Schmid concluded by emphasizing the OSCE’s impact in fostering change and unity in the Eurasian security landscape, acknowledging the power of collective efforts and people-centric approaches.

The 30th OSCE Ministerial Council in Skopje, hosted by Macedonia, attracted around 1,000 delegates from 76 delegations representing 57 OSCE member-states and partners, marking it as the country’s largest political-diplomatic event to date.