The OSCE Chairperson-in-Office, Ukrainian Foreign Minister Leonid Kozhara, discussed Ukraine’s priorities in the areas of human rights, democracy and the rule of law during a meeting with Ambassador Janez Lenarčič, the Director of the OSCE Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights.
Combating trafficking in human beings, media freedom and youth human rights education on the principles of tolerance and non-discrimination are among the top priorities for Ukraine’s OSCE Chairmanship in 2013.
“Ukraine remains convinced that to advance further in strengthening comprehensive security in the OSCE space there needs to be continuous progress in the human dimension,” said Minister Kozhara stressing the important role played by the ODIHR in assisting OSCE participating States in the implementation of their human dimension commitments.
Kozhara and Lenarčič also discussed the support the Office could provide to the Ukrainian Chairmanship with a view to enhancing the efficiency of the Organization in the human dimension.
“The Chairmanship plays a vital role in upholding OSCE commitments, particularly those in the areas of human rights, democracy and the rule of law,” Lenarčič said. “ODIHR stands ready to support the Chairmanship in its endeavours.”
During Kozhara’s visit to the ODIHR offices in Warsaw, Lenarčič briefed him on specific ODIHR human dimension activities in the areas of democratic elections, intolerance and hate crimes, the situation of Roma and Sinti, and promoting gender equality. He also stressed the need for greater efforts on other issues, such as ensuring the security and protection of human rights defenders.