Thank you, Foreign Minister Osmani.
I wanted to begin by paying tribute to you, for your personal leadership of the OSCE in such difficult times. And to the Secretary General and her staff.
Our thoughts are with those OSCE personnel cruelly detained by Russia. They must be released, immediately.
As our new Foreign Secretary said at dinner last night, we face a daunting set of challenges. But these only make clear why we must back the OSCE.
The return of war to Europe only underlines the enduring value of this institution.
OSCE principles of sovereignty, territorial integrity, and non-use of force should be the foundation of peace on the European continent.
Russia has trampled on these principles with devastating results.
Ukraine is fighting not just for its freedom but the right of all nations to make sovereign choices free from coercion.
Sustaining Ukraine’s success means sustaining our support.
The UK will continue to provide the economic, military, humanitarian, and diplomatic support to ensure that Ukraine prevails.
We want them to secure the lasting peace that their people deserve and that the European continent needs.
Nor can we waver in holding Russia to account for its actions against OSCE principles and commitments. Commitments that it co-wrote.
The OSCE has played a key role through the Moscow Mechanism reports in exposing the appalling reality of Russian atrocities in Ukraine.
Given the crucial role of the OSCE in holding Russia to account, it is no surprise to see their continued efforts to undermine this organisation.
We are delighted that in Malta we have a highly qualified Chair in Office.
But we also need an agreed and appropriate budget.
And above all we need institutional leadership as well.
All four job holders are carrying out their mandates extremely effectively and should be extended for at least a year.
The OSCE was forged in the middle of the Cold War.
Since then, it has had Britain’s full support.
Russia is failing in its illegal war.
And failing in its attempts to disrupt this organisation.
We must deliver a strong, functioning and adequately resourced OSCE.
We owe it to the OSCE’s founders, to our citizens, and to future generations to have an effective Organization.