UNITED NATIONS, February 24. /ITAR-TASS/. Swiss Foreign Minister and OSCE Chairperson-in-Office Didier Burkhalter proposed establishing an international Contact Group on Ukraine. Burkhalter put forth the proposal at a meeting of the UN Security Council on Monday, February 24.
“With its impartiality and inclusivity, the OSCE had the necessary attributes to host and moderate that group,” he said.
Burkhalter stressed that the main purpose of the group would be supporting Ukraine in passing through the transitional period and serving “as a potential platform for coordination and sharing information on international assistance and project activities.”
Key international actors will be included in the group, with Ukraine playing an important role in its work.
The OSCE chair said the idea of creating a contact group was being discussed with interested parties.
He also appointed a Personal Envoy on Ukraine to coordinate all ongoing and planned OSCE activities on behalf of the Chairmanship.
“Ambassador Tim Guldimann will take up consultations with all sides and will cooperate closely with international partners,” Burkhalter said.
Guldimann, a seasoned Swiss diplomat and currently the Ambassador of Switzerland to Germany, has relevant experience in the OSCE context and was twice head of an OSCE field operation.
“In view of the rapidly changing developments in Ukraine, Burkhalter reiterated the importance for a fair and inclusive process of transition which does not marginalize any part of the country or any community,” the OSCE said.
In order to identify OSCE assistance for Ukraine, he announced an OSCE Team was on its way to Kiev to assess needs and potential support measures for Ukraine in the next few days.
Burkhalter also called for deploying a human rights evaluation and election monitoring mission in Ukraine within the framework of the Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights (ODIHR). He said he was waiting for the new leaders of Ukraine to send the relevant invitation to the ODIHR.