As Chairperson-in-Office of the Organisation for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) for 2012, I bear overall responsibility for the executive action of the Organisation and the co-ordination of its activities. In carrying out this role, I will offer my full support to the OSCE's extensive network of institutions and field operations working for regional stability throughout the Western Balkans, as well as the South Caucasus and Central Asia.
The OSCE has maintained a Mission to Bosnia and Herzegovina since 1995. Mandated by the Dayton Peace Accords, the Mission carries out vital projects in the areas of human rights, judicial reform and security sector capacity building. It has been supported in this work by a number of the OSCE's central institutions, including the Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights (ODIHR) and Strategic Police Matters Unit (SPMU), with whom it has provided training for members of the judiciary and law-enforcement agencies. I commend these operations and their important contribution to the ongoing reconciliation process in the country and wider region. Officials from the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade recently attended the official closing of the OSCE Office in Zagreb in neighbouring Croatia. The Office's successful completion of its mandate is a testament not only to the progress made in the Western Balkans since the 1990s, but also to the effectiveness of OSCE field presences in fostering stability and democratic development in the region.
Ireland brings its own unique perspective on conflict resolution to its role as Chair. While recognising that the particular circumstances of all conflicts are very different and that no single set of lessons can provide all the answers, I hope that, where appropriate, we can share our own experience of the peace process in Northern Ireland with other members of OSCE. In my address to the OSCE Permanent Council earlier this month, I outlined my intention to host a conference in April this year presenting aspects of the Northern Ireland example as a case study. Invitations will be issued to all 56 OSCE participating States. In hosting this event, I hope that we can assist others who are engaged in similar peace building efforts throughout the OSCE area.