For Immediate Release
December 13, 2004
From remarks by Secretary of State Powell to the Ministerial Meeting of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe, Sofia, Bulgaria, 12/7/04
The United States bases its faith in the OSCE's future not just on past successes, but on the significant contributions this pioneering organization is making today.
In the past 12 months alone, the record has been impressive. The OSCE facilitated two seminal national elections in Georgia.
In response to a request for help from Afghanistan, the OSCE sent its first election assistance team outside Europe. OSCE's was the leading voice from Kabul that reassured the world that the outcome of the election truly reflected the choice of the Afghan people.
The United States is closely following events in Ukraine, and is heartened by efforts to ensure an outcome that reflects the will of the Ukrainian people and respects the rule of law. The OSCE community has an interest in a swift, peaceful outcome through a democratic process.
Incidents of anti-Semitism, racism, hate crimes and discrimination against Muslims are on the rise in OSCE participating states.
There must be a renewed determination to combat racial and ethnic hatred, xenophobia, and discrimination.
The OSCE's landmark work in fighting intolerance has become the standard by which other organizations' efforts are measured; and the OSCE has adopted concrete steps to combat international terrorism and trafficking in persons.