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Centers and Organizations, Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe, OSCE, 2012, Annual Report, Humanitarian Mine Action, HMA
We end the year one participating State stronger. and, as an organization,we remain as committed as ever to our founding principles. i am pleased to welcome Mongolia as the latest country to join our (now) 57-member strong community. this demonstrates the continuing relevance of the oSCE comprehensive approach to security and the viability of the organization as a forum where security issues can be discussed and solutions sought in an open and inclusive manner.
We have another first this year: the transnational threats Department was established to provide co-ordination and cohesiveness to OSCE-wide activities. the new TNTD combines OSCE resources in policing, counter-terrorism, borders and cybersecurity, offering new opportunities for enhanced co-operation in an integrated way with many partner organizations, including NATO, the Collective Security Treaty Organization, the Council of Europe and the European Union.
While participating States are clear in supporting a steady development of our activities to address tnts, we have seen that differences remain in other areas of our agenda. this has to do in part with the overall balance, both geopolitical and thematic, of our activities. But it also includes issues such as the QSCE role in working to resolve protracted conflicts, dealing with cybersecurity and addressing freedom of electronic media.
This year I launched the first Security Days, an event which brought together prominent experts, members of think tanks, representatives of civil society and OSCE delegates, to discuss current challenges and the role of States and civil society in shaping a security community. More than 250 participants discussed Euro-Atlantic and Eurasian security last June, strengthening interaction between the OSCE and relevant partners. this is one effort to bring more balance to the agenda of the organization by building up and sharpening our focus and activities in the politico-military field.
The OSCE has extensive experience in monitoring and organizing elections. Under the leadership of the Chairmanship-in-office, the OSCE also successfully assisted in organizing the Serbian presidential and parliamentary elections in Kosovo.
Moreover, we do this with ever-shrinking resources during this worldwide financial crisis. these difficult financial times mean that OSCE must work even more efficiently. I have tried to achieve this by creating synergies with regional and international actors and with our partners for Co-operation. we have adopted the same strategy with think tanks, academic organizations and governments. I would like to take this opportunity to thank all of our partners who work diligently with us, sharing their ideas and displaying common commitment.
My appreciation also goes to Tanaiste, Eamon Gilmore, for his excellent work as Chairperson in 2012. Assisted by a very committed team, he worked with strong determination throughout the year and was particularly successful in highlighting important issues like promoting progress towards conflict resolution, freedom of expression and good governance.
I would also like to express my profound gratitude to the dedicated women and men who serve the OSCE in the Secretariat, the institutions, the Field operations and the Parliamentary Assembly.