Foreign Minister and OSCE Chairman-in-Office Osmani Visits First Ever OSCE Mission – OSCE Mission to Skopje

Foreign Minister and incumbent OSCE Chairman-in-Office, Bujar Osmani, completed today his first field mission in his capacity of OSCE Chairman-in-Office by visiting the OSCE Mission to Skopje, where he had a meeting with the Head of the OSCE Mission to the country, Ambassador Kilian Wahl.

Being established 30 years ago, the OSCE Mission to Skopje is the oldest, i.e. first ever field mission of this organization, and Osmani used his visit to Mission headquarters to gain insight into the activities that the Mission carries out in support of North Macedonia which are vital for both its citizens and institutions.

"The projects implemented by the OSCE Mission in North Macedonia are of vital importance to the country and provide direct benefits to all its citizens. Moreover, the programs that the OSCE pursues in the country are in line with the priorities of the national Government and represent an expression of a partnership of great value for all parties involved," said Osmani.

Following up on the meeting, Osmani also paid a visit to the police training centre located in the Municipality of Gjorche Petrov, where, joined by the Minister of the Interior, Oliver Spasovski, he had the opportunity to meet with women police officers provided training under OSCE Mission programs, while also attending a demonstration exercise by Tiger Special Anti-Terrorist Unit and K9 Unit at the Ministry of the Interior.

"Increasing the involvement of women in all areas of social life, and especially in the domain of security, is one of the main commitments and priorities of the 2023 North Macedonia OSCE Chairpersonship. In that context, it is indeed heartening to see how, through both these and other projects, the OSCE Mission has been providing support and investing efforts to assist the processes of improving the public administration in the country as well as raising its professionalism," Osmani stressed on that note.

Osmani also welcomed the efforts made by the OSCE Mission in the country regarding the control of small and light weapons and border security.

"This facility and the conditions it offers, as well as the demonstration exercise, testify to how much the operational capacities of the special police unit under the Ministry of the Interior have improved. This project will in tangible terms help to improve the control of small and light weapons in North Macedonia and thus the safety of the citizens of our country," said Osmani.

Osmani rounded off this activity by paying a visit to the OSCE Field Office in Tetovo, where he had an opportunity to engage in a discussion with local youth attending successful multilingual education programs.

"I would like to highlight the continuous work that the OSCE Mission has been doing in support of young people in North Macedonia, which has been aimed at establishing and maintaining interaction between different ethnic communities in the country and thus achieving even greater social cohesion," Osmani said.

The Foreign Minister also met with students who are part of the OSCE Mission project on combating hate speech, which is being pursued in close cooperation with the local police and focuses on combating this phenomenon in its ethnicity and gender equality aspects.

The OSCE Chairman-in-Office Osmani emphasized that the work of the OSCE in North Macedonia includes numerous activities covering a variety of areas such as the rule of law, building strong democratic institutions, judicial independence, respect for human rights, media freedom, assisting and supporting electoral system reform, improving socio-economic factors, and pursuing inclusive political processes with the full participation of civil society in the country.

"In that context, I would like to welcome the approach and work of the incumbent Head of the OSCE Mission to Skopje, Ambassador Kilian Wahl, and his entire team in the development of projects and programs that are designed to assist the reforms that the Government of North Macedonia has been pursuing and are aimed at increasing societal resilience in facing newly arising challenges", Osmani said.

In addition, OSCE Chairman-in-Office Osmani announced that the OSCE will be intensifying its interaction with the field missions, with the North Macedonia Chairpersonship synergizing its priorities with those of the OSCE field missions to enable support and encouragement to people in need of help.

Speaking in that regard, he indicated that he will pay visits to other countries where the OSCE operates missions and other types of on-field presence, stressing that these field missions of the OSCE have a direct impact in improving the quality of people’s lives, being, as such, the focus of the incumbent OSCE Chairpersonship of North Macedonia.