Washington — The U.S. ambassador to the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE), the world’s largest intergovernmental security group, has proposed four areas for joint efforts to deal with transnational threats.
“Combating transnational threats requires a coordinated, preventive effort,” Ambassador Ian Kelly said at the OSCE annual security review conference in Vienna June 26.
DEEPENING RULE OF LAW TO COMBAT VIOLENT EXTREMISM
Kelly called for training programs that promote norms and standards of responsible state behavior and share best practices.
“The OSCE’s ability to engage closely with civil society leaders enables it to leverage the efforts of [nongovernmental organizations] that have more regular access to local community leaders, victims of terrorism, and at-risk individuals,” he said.
DEVELOPING CYBERSECURITY TRUST, ACCOUNTABILITY AND CONFIDENCE
Another area is cybersecurity, according to Kelly.
Confidence-building measures are needed among the OSCE members to reduce the risk that an accidental event in cyberspace could be misinterpreted as a hostile action. This would decrease "the likelihood of increased tension or escalation to open conflict,” Kelly said.
STRENGTHENING BORDER SECURITY AND IMPLEMENTING NONPROLIFERATION PRINCIPLES
Helping governments to improve their management of borders is vital to thwarting transnational threats and interdicting the flow of weapons of mass destruction, the ambassador said. Border management is particularly applicable to stabilizing Afghanistan and its neighbors, he said, urging other OSCE governments to contribute to that issue.
PROMOTING POLICE REFORM
Police reform is particularly relevant to Kyrgyzstan, Kelly said.
"We encourage the government of Kyrgyzstan, and in particular the Kyrgyz Ministry of Interior, to hire, train and integrate minorities into Kyrgyzstan’s police services and address human rights violations by law enforcement authorities,” he said.
The OSCE is made up of 56 participating countries from Europe, Central Asia and North America. It is mandated by the United Nations to deal primarily with political-military issues, economic and environmental concerns and supporting human rights and human development.
Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for European and Eurasian Affairs Eric Rubin said it is important to see conflicts not just in political-military terms but also in their economic and human dimensions.
“Preparing populations for peace entails ensuring that human rights and fundamental freedoms are factored into our efforts at every phase of the conflict cycle. Humanitarian and people-to-people contacts can help to decrease tensions and build understanding,” Rubin said.