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"Mr. Chairperson,

Excellences, Ladies and Gentlemen

I would like to commend the Slovak Chairmanship for taking the helm of the OSCE in these times of great transformation. Let me also thank, personally, Minister Miroslav Lajčák for his commitment and for the great hospitality in Bratislava.

Portugal is deeply worried about the erosion of the international system.

Therefore, we need to rethink our collective security and enhance our cooperation.

With its wide and multipolar membership, OSCE offers an important collective, cooperative and comprehensive forum to address some of these challenges.

It can help prevent unintended crises, mitigate the escalation of conflicts and promote their resolution.

The security challenges in Europe are worrying.

The crisis in and around Ukraine remains one of the situations that raises great concern to the OSCE area.

Portugal reiterates its commitment to the sovereignty and territorial integrity of Ukraine and supports all diplomatic efforts to bring a political and lasting solution to the conflict.

Portugal also reiterates its full support for Georgia´s sovereignty and territorial integrity, as well as to the negotiations to settle the Transnistrian conflict and the political process led by the OSCE Minsk Group, on Nagorno-Karabakh.

I have already alluded to some other overlying and crosscutting global threats that we need to take into account.

We cannot neglect the impact of climate change for our collective security.

In the fight against climate change, but also beyond, the nexus between development and security is more crucial than ever.

Climate change, development, arms race and security are undeniably intertwined. Therefore, the OSCE can also provide added value and facilitate solutions in some of these areas, namely, by bringing together governmental and non-governmental actors to promote better water management, food production and environmental sustainability.

Furthermore, I would like to stress the importance of the protection of human rights and fundamental freedoms, including media freedom, the safety of journalists and the equality between women and men for the development of democratic societies.

In the same vein, I would like to stress the relevance of preventing and eradicating torture and acknowledge the positive global trend against the death penalty.

We believe that the OSCE should reinforce its network with other global and regional organizations. Thus, we are supportive of the OSCE Partnership with Mediterranean and Asian partners.

But we cannot talk about OSCE without mentioning the politico-military aspects of security.

In this context, I would like to highlight the recent joint proposal for the modernisation of the Vienna Document presented by 32 participating States, including Portugal.

Portugal also actively supports the Structured Dialogue and stands ready to contribute to its development in accordance with the “From Lisbon to Hamburg” Declaration, as a forum for dialogue and bridge building that embodies the OSCE spirit and its true added value.

This is the best opportunity to ensure the OSCE keeps abreast of important threats and challenges in Europe and that it contributes to upholding the multilateral system.

Let us work together, in a spirit of compromise, to reach consensus on a balanced and meaningful package of decisions to drive us forward.

Portugal remains fully engaged and committed to the OSCE.

I conclude by expressing Portugal´s best wishes of success to the incoming Albanian Chairmanship and by conveying it our full support.

Thank you."

Statement by Ambassador Jorge Lobo de Mesquita, Permanent Representative of Portugal to the OSCE:

"Mr. Chairperson

Portugal fully aligns with the statement made by the European Union, but I would like to add some national remarks.

Gender based violence in the OSCE area has a devastating effect on the lives of the persons affected. The fight against domestic violence and all forms of violence against Women and Girls is a major priority for the Portuguese Government and engages all sectors of national administration, civil society and non-governmental organizations.  This plight expresses in many forms and cuts across generations, cultural and class boundaries.

Preliminary figures on domestic violence collected by our authorities appoint to 33 people murdered in this current year, including 25 women, 1 child and 7 men. Data from a civil society platform also points out another dimension of this tragedy – 45 children were left orphan this year. Public awareness and action from all the spectrum of society is critical to address this scourge. 

We stress the importance of a comprehensive approach in tackling this problem, including through combined efforts by the security forces, judiciary system, educational and social institutions and the civil society in supporting and monitoring of domestic violence with particular focus on its victims and their protection.

The Portuguese authorities consider the elimination of violence against women a matter of utmost national priority.

I thank you."

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