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OSCE Ministerial Council ends in Milan

Milan, 7 December 2018 – Today, the 25th OSCE Ministerial Council Meeting was concluded; it was also the closing event of the Italian OSCE Chairmanship in 2018.  The delegation of the Republic of Slovenia was headed by Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs Dr Miro Cerar.


The Council concluded with a number of decisions and declarations adopted by consensus on the topical issues being addressed by this largest regional security organisation, including a declaration on enhancing security and cooperation in the Mediterranean. Slovenia was among the countries that actively strove for the adoption of the said declaration, and – in the framework of its Chairmanship of the OSCE Forum for Security Co-operation (FSC) – devoted special attention to the situation in the Mediterranean. The issue of security in the Southern OSCE region was thus extensively dealt with at one of the joint sessions of the FSC and the Permanent Council organised by Slovenia and Italy in July, which, inter alia, presented Slovenia's engagement in the EUNAVFOR MED operation Sophia.


Furthermore, Slovenia welcomes the adoption of a declaration addressing the threat posed by small arms and light weapons and stockpiles of conventional ammunition. The issue of control of small arms and light weapons (SALW) was one of Slovenia's priorities during its OSCE FSC Chairmanship, also in light of this year's Third United Nations Review Conference on the implementation of the Programme of Action to Prevent, Combat and Eradicate the Illicit Trade in Small Arms and Light Weapons in All Its Aspects. The Council in Milan also adopted a decision on preventing and combating violence against women, which notes and welcomes the work of the OSCE MenEngage Network, which seeks to raise awareness of the influence men can have in ending gender-based violence and speaking out against all kinds of inequality; the Network is currently chaired by a Slovenian representative.


The Council also adopted a decision on how to develop human capital in the digital era, a declaration recognising the digital economy as a driver of cooperation, security and growth, and a declaration on the role of youth in peace and security efforts. It is important to note that the Council decision on enhancing journalists’ safety was the first decision adopted by states in the human dimension since 2014 and an important signal for the future. 


At the closing session of the Ministerial Council, the participants were addressed by the OSCE Chairperson-in-Office, Italian Foreign Minister Enzo Moavero Milanesi, and his successor, Slovak Foreign Minister Miroslav Lajčák. Slovakia will take over the OSCE Chairmanship at the beginning of next year, and will be hosting the 26th Ministerial Council in Bratislava on 5 and 6 December 2019.