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Prague Forum on the Economic and Environmental Dimension of the OSCE

On 14 and 15 September 2023, the Prague Forum on the Economic and Environmental Dimension of the OSCE 2023 took place in Prague. Open to 57 OSCE participating States, the Forum was organized by the OSCE Chairmanship-in-Office of North Macedonia at the seat of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. It focused on the theme "Promoting security and stability in the OSCE area through sustainable economic development, and resilient and inclusive economic growth".

The Prague Forum was opened by Czech Foreign Minister Jan Lipavský, together with the Minister of Foreign Affairs of North Macedonia, Bujar Osmani, and OSCE Secretary General Helga Maria Schmid.

The war in Ukraine resonated throughout the entire program of the Prague Forum. “For the second year in a row, we are gathering in this hall while a bloody war rages a few hundred kilometers away. We cannot pretend as if nothing is happening. The OSCE's activities must be primarily focused on Ukraine, on the consequences of the war and on the assistance that the OSCE can provide to Ukraine," stated Czech Foreign Minister Jan Lipavský. The opening session of the forum was addressed by Markiyan Dmytrasevych, Ukraine's Deputy Minister for Agricultural Policy and Food who focused primarily on the enormous damage caused to Ukraine's economy, agriculture and environment, as well as the disruption of global food trade as a result of Russia's aggression against Ukraine.

On the margins of the Prague Forum, Minister Lipavsky met with OSCE Secretary General Helga Schmid. He praised her work as head of the organization as well as the OSCE's activities aimed at assisting Ukraine. Since its establishment in 2022, Czechia has contributed a total of CZK 4 million to the OSCE Support Programme for Ukraine. Furthermore, a meeting of Minister Lipavský with his counterpart from North Macedonia, Bujar Osmani, took place, which served as an opportunity for a discussion on the process of North Macedonia's accession to the European Union and confirmed the excellent level of mutual relations.

This year's Prague Forum was a continuation of the traditional OSCE Economic and Environmental Forum, which had been regularly hosted by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs as a top event of the second (Economic and Environmental) Dimension of the OSCE until last year. This year, however, consensus on the regular OSCE Economic and Environmental Forum could not be reached due to Russia's obstructive policy within the organization.