Schlagwort-Archive: Russia

In einem offenen Brief haben sich mehrere hundert Wissenschaftlerinnen und Wissenschaftler aus Russland für den Frieden ausgesprochen. Wir unterstützen sie und ihr Engagement und dokumentieren daher ihren Appell für den Frieden.

Wir, russische Wissenschaftler und Wissenschaftsjournalisten, protestieren nachdrücklich gegen die von den Streitkräften unseres Landes eingeleitete Militäraktion in der Ukraine. Dieser fatale Schritt führt zu enormen Verlusten an Menschenleben und untergräbt die Grundlagen des etablierten Systems der internationalen Sicherheit. Die Verantwortung für die Entfesselung eines neuen Krieges in Europa liegt allein bei Russland. Es gibt keine vernünftige Rechtfertigung für diesen Krieg.

Versuche, die Lage im Donbass als Vorwand für eine Militäroperation zu nutzen, sind nicht glaubwürdig. Es ist klar, dass die Ukraine keine Bedrohung für die Sicherheit unseres Landes darstellt. Ein Krieg gegen sie ist unfair und offen gesagt sinnlos. Die Ukraine war und ist ein Land, das uns nahe steht. Viele von uns haben Verwandte, Freunde und Kollegen in der Ukraine. Unsere Väter, Großväter und Urgroßväter haben gemeinsam gegen den Nationalsozialismus gekämpft.

Die Entfesselung des Krieges für die geopolitischen Ambitionen der russischen Führung, getrieben von zweifelhaften geschichtspolitischen Phantasien, ist ein zynischer Verrat an ihrer Erinnerung. Wir respektieren die ukrainische Staatlichkeit, die sich auf wirklich funktionierende demokratische Institutionen stützt. Wir haben Verständnis für die europäische Entscheidung unserer Nachbarn. Wir sind überzeugt, dass alle Probleme in den Beziehungen zwischen unseren Ländern friedlich gelöst werden können.

Durch die Entfesselung des Krieges hat sich Russland selbst zur internationalen Isolation, zur Position eines Pariastaates verurteilt. Das bedeutet, dass wir Wissenschaftler nicht mehr in der Lage sein werden, unsere Arbeit richtig zu machen: Wissenschaftliche Forschung ist ohne eine umfassende Zusammenarbeit mit Kollegen aus anderen Ländern nicht denkbar. Die Isolierung Russlands von der Welt bedeutet eine weitere kulturelle und technologische Degradierung unseres Landes, die keine positiven Perspektiven bietet. Ein Krieg mit der Ukraine ist ein Schritt ins Leere.

Wir sind uns bitter bewusst, dass unser Land, das entscheidend zum Sieg über den Nationalsozialismus beigetragen hat, nun zum Anstifter eines neuen Krieges auf dem europäischen Kontinent geworden ist. Wir fordern die sofortige Einstellung aller Militäraktionen gegen die Ukraine. Wir fordern die Achtung der Souveränität und territorialen Integrität des ukrainischen Staates. Wir fordern Frieden für unsere Länder.

Englische Fassung

Englische Fassung:

We, Russian scientists and scientific journalists, strongly protest against the hostilities launched by the armed forces of our country on the territory of Ukraine. This fatal step leads to huge losses of human life and undermines the foundations of the established system of international security. The responsibility for unleashing a new war in Europe lies entirely with Russia.

There is no rational justification for this war. Attempts to use the situation in Donbass as a pretext for launching a military operation are not credible. It is clear that Ukraine does not pose a threat to the security of our country. The war against it is unfair and, frankly, senseless.

Ukraine has been, and remains, a country close to us. Many of us have relatives, friends and colleagues living in Ukraine. Our fathers, grandfathers and great-grandfathers fought together against Nazism. Unleashing a war for the sake of the geopolitical ambitions of the leadership of the Russian Federation, driven by dubious historiosophical fantasies, is a cynical betrayal of their memory.

We respect Ukrainian statehood, which is based on really working democratic institutions. We treat the European choice of our neighbours with understanding. We are convinced that all problems in relations between our countries can be resolved peacefully.

Having unleashed the war, Russia has condemned itself to international isolation, to the position of a pariah country. This means that we scientists will no longer be able to do our work properly: scientific research is inconceivable without full cooperation with colleagues from other countries. The isolation of Russia from the world means a further cultural and technological degradation of our country, in the complete absence of positive prospects. War with Ukraine is a step to nowhere.

We are bitterly aware that our country, which made a decisive contribution to the victory over Nazism, has now become the instigator of a new war on the European continent. We demand an immediate halt to all military operations directed against Ukraine. We demand respect for the sovereignty and territorial integrity of the Ukrainian state. We demand peace for our countries.

Das Original:

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A radical societal paradigm shift is necessary         

The Global climate change will dried out many regions around the globe and leave them with dramatic water-shortage


The author, Gerd Michael Müller, born in Zürich in 1962, traveled as a photo-journalist to more than 50 nations and lived in seven countries, including in the underground in South Africa during apartheid. In the 80 years he was a political activist at the youth riots in Zürich. Then he was involved in pioneering Wildlife & eco projects in Southern Africa and humanitarian projects elsewhere in the world. As early as 1993, Müller reported on the global climate change and in 1999 he founded the «Tourism & Environment Forum Switzerland». Through his humanitarian missions he got to know Nelson Mandela, the Dalai Lama and other figures of light. His book is an exciting mixture of political thriller, crazy social stories and travel reports – the highlights of his adventurous, wild nomadic life for reportage photography .

(please note that translation corrections are still in progress and images will follow soon)

According to „Copernicus“, the decade from 2011 to 2020 was globally the hottest year since measurements began. In Europe, too, but especially in the Arctic, record values of up to six degrees above average were recorded in the period from 1981 to 2010. In 2020, the high temperatures are particularly extreme, as they occurred without an El Niño effect in the previous year. 2021 should see another temperature increase as a result of the La Nina effect, and this is despite the fact that we have now had a Covid-19 year of very limited air travel. CO2 increases are also certain to continue. The Arctic will continue to melt and if it comes to the „worst case“ scenario and the Atlantic roll stops moving as it has been, we are looking at dark times.

In view of the unfortunate fact that after more than 30 years of dithering and hesitating, denying and refusing, watching the destruction and looking the overwhelming facts almost inactively in the eye, living in the consciousness and with the bad conscience of doing even more overexploitation than ever before, each of us must now take the reins into our own hands and make substantial contributions. „Reduce to the max“ is the motto. In other words, reduce resource consumption at all levels. We are all in the same boat. Covid has impressively demonstrated this to us. There is no more time to lose. Therefore, it is only right that the climate movement and climate youth overtake or outflank the Greens on the left and demand a much faster and more consistent approach. Covid-19 is costing us trillions. Add a few trillion to transform the economy and we would have gained enormously.

We desperately need to avoid more pandemics, so any investment would be worth it. It is up to each of us to contribute to this, but it can no longer be done without drastic steps on an unprecedented scale. Long-established lifestyles will have to change dramatically. For example, in consumer behavior: less meat consumption, less packaging, less transportation and work, use ecological means of transport and promote bio-diversified, local cultivation everywhere, etc. In agriculture, drastically reduce pesticides and herbicides and create incentives for organic farming and consistently apply water protection. All subsidies for fossil energy production must be discontinued, and in air travel a high fuel tax must be introduced across the board, thus significantly reducing air travel. In the business world, introduce carbon footprint accounting in companies everywhere, promote sustainable building technology in construction, and take charge of the greening of cities. Meadows instead of green spaces, avoid soil sealing and in forestry, cultivate mixed-age and mixed-species forests.

Although 2020 saw a revival of the „Paris Coalition of High Ambition“ at the first virtual United Nations climate change summit, where 75 nations committed to the goal of „net zero“ emissions. Most nations are aiming for the goal by 2050. So far, however, only 75 of 197 nations have submitted new or increased climate targets. But only the UK and the EU have substantially increased their targets. For all other states, the ambitions are low. Far too low for the goals of the Paris climate agreement ever to be achieved. As a result, the „Coalition for Carbon Neutrality“ proclaimed by UN Secretary-General Antonio Gutierrez has a good 65 percent of the world’s CO2 emissions at its disposal, which could still rise if the financial pledges for the green climate fund of 100 billion Swiss francs per year are advanced. The key instrument is the carbon price, which is also recognized by the EU and is to rise steadily until 2030. In 2015, Nobel economics laureate William Nordhaus proposed the creation of a climate club that would draw mutual benefit from the sharing of climate protection and exclude free riders, as this is the only way to get out of the „prisoner’s dilemma.“

The coalition of the willing should concede the greatest possible benefits and advantages for its members. In this way, it would be possible to counteract the problem of benefits without making efforts and contributions of one’s own. The capital market would also be well advised to invest in sustainable and green products and resources and to rapidly phase out coal.  For UN Secretary General Guttierez, this is an important step forward, but it is still not enough. We must not forget that the world is still on track for a global temperature rise of more than three degrees, which would be tantamount to a catastrophe, he said. In other words. We are still traveling at 180 kmh in terms of fossil fuel consumption.

A reduction in speed is needed. The Corona pandemic in particular has shown what is possible and can be mobilized in extraordinary situations. Patient Earth is lying in the intensive care unit, gasping for breath. It is high time to act and to implement drastic measures. For the Atlantic Meridional Overturning Current (AMOC) has also dramatically lost strength in recent decades. The ocean current is also known as the Gulf Stream and carries mild temperatures up to the Channel Islands, Ireland and Great Britain, further towards the Netherlands to western Germany and Scandinavia in the higher water levels even in winter. The Gulf Stream system moves almost 20 million cubic meters of water per second, about a hundred times the Amazon current,“ says Stefan Rahmstorf, a researcher from the „Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research“ on the importance of this climate system (PIK). is the initiator and co-author of a study published in spring 2021 in the journal „Nature Geoscience“.

Butterfly Effect: Hedge Funds, the Drivers of Wars and Climate Change

Let’s face it, financial markets are at the center of the economy, determining commodity and food prices around the world and dictating what happens around the globe. Hedge funds are the bane of food and water and commodity capitalism at its purest. Let’s take a closer look: In 2008, food and commodity prices rose sharply even though the world was in recession after the financial crisis. This shows that prices rose due to speculation and not due to increased demand. What started as the flap of a butterfly’s wings on Wall Street in 2010 went on to cause riots, wars and global refugee crises. The flapping of wings was triggered by then President Bill Clinton and National Bank President Alan Greenspan with the Commodity Modernization Act, i.e. the liberalization of markets that had been strictly regulated since the 1930s and limited the number of speculators. But from now on, anyone could speculate in commodities and food without limits.

As a result, the financial markets licked blood and Wall Street and hedge funds dictated events in the most vicious way. In the same year, Russia’s wheat crop was down more than 30 percent due to climate change and drought. Wall-street speculated on a shortage of supply and drove up the price of wheat by 50 percent, which led to the Arab Spring in Tunisia and Egypt because Egypt imported nearly 80 percent of its wheat from Russia. A rapid increase in food prices and a small increase in oil prices inevitably leads to conflicts and armed conflicts, scientists and mathematicians also noted.

Thus, in 2011, wars degenerated in Libya after the fall of Gaddhafi as well as in the Iraq war, both leading oil exporting states, fueling further conflicts in the region and triggering a conflagration that swept the entire Orient. So, too, did the unending war in Syria. This was triggered in turn by hedge funds and speculators on Wall Street and in London. They drove up the oil price massively because they were speculating on export losses. The butterfly’s wings have fluttered here, too, and so the deregulated markets have become an engine of chaos.

This speculation and the developments in the oil states also had even more far-reaching consequences. Due to the enormous rise in the price of petrodollars, Russia and Saudi Arabia, but also Venezuela, came to immense wealth and increased their military budgets and police forces either to suppress revolts at home or for further offensives. Russia in Syria, in Ukraine, and most recently in Crimea. In the case of Saudi Arabia, war came to a head in Yemen and in many other regions in the conflict between Shiites and Sunnis, meanwhile Iran, infiltrated the Middle East in its own way and pumped it full of its crude ideologies, weapons and fighters. The rise in oil prices was also the beginning of doom for Venezuela, which perished from the resource curse. Here, too, the speculators were ultimately the trigger and responsible for the streams of refugees from Latin America to the USA and from Africa and the Orient to Europe.

«The OSCE – an opportunity we must seize together»

Bern, 07.02.2015 – Speach of Swiss Federal Councilor Didier Burkhalter at the donation of the Ewald-von-Kleist-Preises to the OSZE at the „Münchner Sicherheitskonferenz 2015“.

Let me begin by joining my colleague Ivica Dačić in thanking the Munich Security Conference and Ambassador Wolfgang Ischinger for honouring the OSCE with the Ewald-von-Kleist Award. I would also like to express our gratitude to his Excellency Kofi Annan for his insightful presentation of the Award. It is a great privilege and pleasure for me to share a few thoughts with you on this occasion.

To honour the OSCE is to honour an idea – an idea of security that is cooperative and comprehensive. The OSCE stands for inclusive dialogue, for shared commitments, for common exertions to find common solutions to common challenges, and for very concrete measures on the ground to prevent and resolve conflicts. 57 States from three continents participate in this endeavour. The OSCE is a bridge-builder and an agent of peace.

The OSCE is an organization with a human touch. This organization is not only about relations between States but also about promoting a human kind of security – security for our citizens. And it is an un-bureaucratic organization, one that is very much driven by people – in Vienna, in the capitals of the participating States, and in the field. The human relations between these people, and their collective effort for the advancement of security and cooperation, are essential in making the organization what it is.

The bestowal of this award on the OSCE is a welcome sign of recognition for the work of the organization and its people. In these times of crises, it is with a good measure of modesty that we should acknowledge, and express our appreciation for, the growing recognition of the OSCE’s role and potential.

The Ukraine crisis has struck the OSCE at its very heart

War has returned to Europe. The people in the conflict-affected areas of eastern Ukraine are suffering enormously. The risk of further military escalation is real. This is not what the OSCE stands for. It is only through a cooperative political solution that this crisis can be resolved.

European security has rapidly deteriorated. The Helsinki Principles – a key foundation on which the OSCE and the overall security of Europe are built – have been repeatedly violated in the Ukraine crisis. This was most blatantly the case when Crimea was annexed, in a breach of OSCE commitments and international law. With the erosion of mutual trust, relations between Russia and the West have deteriorated to a dangerous degree. We heard a lot about this today. The notion of building security with rather than against each other has come under genuine threat again in the OSCE area.

In this difficult context, the OSCE has well demonstrated its usefulness as a bridge between the Euro-Atlantic and the Eurasian region. The OSCE has promoted inclusive dialogue to advance the search for a political solution to the Ukraine crisis. It has also reaffirmed its ability to act as a normative intermediary, reminding States of their commitments. Beyond that, the organization has become the main operational responder in the Ukraine crisis.

The Special Monitoring Mission to Ukraine provides invaluable objective information concerning developments on the ground and has proven its ability to react quickly to the many incidents and challenges it is confronted with. It provides a strong signal that collective solutions are still possible between all OSCE States, that we are capable of working together to jointly advance de-escalation efforts. It is a worthy reflection of the culture of dialogue and cooperation that characterizes the OSCE.

How can we preserve this culture of dialogue and cooperation?

How can we make certain that Europe does not once again sleepwalk its way into a major catastrophe? I believe that what is required most today is political leadership, a shared sense of responsibility, and an unremitting effort to keep dialogue alive.

It was these three principles that stood at the beginning of the cooperative security approach à la OSCE, and it is these principles that are needed now to preserve and protect our common future.

Four decades ago, Europe was deeply divided between East and West. It was with a view to finding a way to reduce this division that governments decided to hold the Conference on Security and Cooperation in Europe – the CSCE. The several hundred diplomats and experts who gathered in Geneva in 1973 had little idea what to expect. It was widely assumed that the conference would last a few weeks only.

Ultimately, the negotiations continued for almost two years. In fact, they took so long that many diplomats left their hotels and moved into houses. Some settled in Geneva for good. A number of participants even got married during those CSCE negotiations – and some of those marriages were actually between delegates from Eastern and Western bloc countries.

I tell you this because the outcome of these negotiations was truly remarkable. The CSCE Final Act, which was signed in Helsinki in 1975, transformed security in Europe for good. The Helsinki Final Act was the result of a shared sense of responsibility combined with a shared political will to enhance the security of all by defining common commitments and promoting broad cooperation. It was thanks to the unfailing determination of everyone involved to continue their dialogue until a solution was found that this landmark document of European security came to see the light of day.

Today, as we commemorate the signing of the Final Act, 40 years ago, this spirit of the founding fathers of the CSCE should indeed be a source of inspiration to all of us. It is our shared responsibility not to allow Europe to become divided again. We must persist in our efforts to work out common solutions to overcome the Ukraine crisis and the broader crisis of European security.

The OSCE is capable of playing an important role on both these fronts. This organization is an opportunity – an opportunity we must seize together. The OSCE deserves our continuing full support for its engagement in and around Ukraine. This is extremely demanding work – and the OSCE needs the support of all participating States if it is to successfully face up to the many challenges that abound.

As concerns the need to overcome the broader crisis of European security, I have no doubt that this will require much time and patience. This is why it is important that we begin to address the issue now. The further strengthening of the OSCE and its capacity to act seems an obvious measure to take. We need a strong OSCE as a solid anchor of cooperative security in Europe.

There is also the Panel of Eminent Persons on European Security as a Common Project that has been launched by the OSCE Troika. We look forward to the proposals of this Panel on how to rebuild trust and strengthen adherence to OSCE commitments. I would like to thank Ambassador Ischinger once more for agreeing to act as Chair and for hosting the first meeting tomorrow, here in Munich.

I wish to conclude by thanking you, Ivica, and the Serbian Chairmanship for your great commitment to steering the OSCE through this challenging time. I also thank our Troika colleague Frank-Walter Steinmeier for the excellent trilateral cooperation between us, and for Germany’s untiring efforts to promote a political solution to the Ukraine crisis. Last, but not least, I commend you, Secretary-General Zannier, for your own work and for that of everyone who has been involved in moving the OSCE forward – day by day, step by step. To accept this award is to thank and serve the OSCE, its idea of peace and security, its principles, and its marvelous people.

«Closing Statement at the 21st OSCE Ministerial Council» (en)

Bern, 05.12.2014 – Basel, 05.12.2014 – Schlussrede des amtierenden OSZE-Vorsitzenden und Bundespräsidenten Didier Burkhalter am 21. OSZE-Ministerratstreffen».

This OSCE Ministerial Council was a special one. With 53 Ministers and around 1,300 delegates we have had a record participation. More important than the statistics is the fact that we had two days full of dialogue, of sometimes heated debates, but always with a view to finding common ground.

This is what the OSCE is all about: a meeting place for dialogue, even – and especially – when there are issues on which we disagree.

The Ukraine crisis was obviously at the heart of our deliberations. As I mentioned yesterday, there remain major differences concerning the analysis of this crisis. At the same time, yesterday’s Chairmanship Summary showed that participating States do agree on important aspects of this crisis. We do have common interests. Among other things, there was very strong support for a continuous and broad engagement of the OSCE in the Ukraine crisis. I was also pleased to note that our discussions were frank but constructive, very much in the spirit of the OSCE.

In my opening address to this Ministerial Council, I urged participating States to continue to work towards effective multilateral solutions to the many common security challenges they face. In other words: even if this year’s Ministerial Council has not been business as usual, we should also do some good business as usual.

In this regard, I am pleased that we were able to find consensus on a number of decisions and declarations in all three dimensions of the OSCE.

Regarding the first dimension, we have a Ministerial Statement on the negotiations on the Transdniestrian Settlement Process in the ‘5+2’ format.

We agreed on two Declarations on the fight against terrorism; one concerning Kidnapping for Ransom and another one on Foreign Terrorist Fighters. This demonstrates that the 57 OSCE participating States condemn terrorism in all its forms, no matter where it is committed and who commits it.

There is also the Declaration on the Transfer of Ownership of Dayton Article IV 1B to the governments of Bosnia and Herzegovina, Serbia, Croatia, and Montenegro.

Furthermore, we adopted a Decision on Small Arms and Light Weapons and Stockpiles of Conventional Ammunition as well as a Commemorative Declaration on the Occasion of the Twentieth Anniversary of the OSCE Code of Conduct on Politico-Military Aspects of Security.

In the second dimension on economic and environmental cooperation, we agreed on two Decisions, on Enhancing Disaster Risk Reduction and on the Prevention of Corruption respectively.

In the third dimension – the human dimension – we reached consensus on a Declaration on enhancing efforts to combat anti-Semitism that is building on the outcomes of this year’s Berlin Conference.

However, no consensus was found on the proposed Decision on the Prevention of Torture, which is a priority issue of Swiss Chairmanship. Improved implementation of existing commitments in the human dimension must remain a priority for the OSCE.

Regarding, cross-dimensional issues, there is a Decision on Violence against Women and a Decision tasking us to elaborate an addendum to the Gender Action Plan.

I am also pleased to note that a Declaration on Youth has been passed, tasking the OSCE to deal with youth issues. The Model OSCE Youth Action Plan negotiated by our Youth Ambassadors was distributed to all delegations and will, I trust, inspire the OSCE to work out its own Youth Action Plan.

Moreover, we have two Declarations on Co-operation with our Mediterranean and our Asian Partners, respectively.

Ahead of the 40th anniversary of the Helsinki Final Act, I consider it important that we agreed on a Declaration regarding the next steps in the Helsinki+40 process.

We also agreed on a Commemorative Declaration on the 70th anniversary of the end of the Second World War.

I welcome our decisions on the future Chairmanships. With Germany and Austria following the Serbian Chairmanship in 2016 and 2017, the future of this organisation is in good hands. This multi-year perspective allows us to address the big challenges for European security in a continuous and co-ordinated way.

The Chairmanship welcomes the fact that a civil society conference has taken place in parallel to this Ministerial Council, and just next door. On Wednesday, I received the Basel Declaration and a comprehensive and inspiring set of recommendations put forward by civil society representatives. These recommendations have been distributed to all delegations and provide substantial input for our discussions. I am particularly pleased that the incoming Serbian Chairmanship will continue the dialogue with civil society.
This has been an intensive year. Around 100 statements as Chairperson-in-Office, 66 of which were on the Ukraine crisis alone, illustrate how rapidly events have unfolded.

The Swiss Chairmanship has been a major team effort. I wish to thank my Special Representatives Angelo Gnaedinger on the South Caucasus, Andrej Kasprzyk on the conflict dealt with by the Minsk Group, Radojko Bogojević on the ‘5+2 Process’, Gérard Stoudmann on the Western Balkans, and Tim Guldimann, Wolfgang Ischinger, and Heidi Tagliavini on Ukraine, for their committed work to reduce tensions and build confidence.

My Personal Representatives on Tolerance and Non-Discrimination – Alexei Avtonomov, Rabbi Andrew Baker, and Talip Kükükcan – had a very active year with country visits to the United States, Denmark, Russia and Turkey. I also thank my Special Representatives June Zeitlin on Gender and Madina Jarbussynova on Trafficking for their great efforts. And I thank Major General Michele Torres for the dedicated work done on the transfer of ownership of the sub-regional arms control agreement Dayton Art IV, Annex 1-B.

We also wish to acknowledge the work of the eight coordinators of the Helsinki+40 Working Groups.

I am particularly obliged to my dedicated teams within the Swiss Federal Department of Foreign Affairs, the Task Force OSCE Chairmanship headed by Heidi Grau and our Mission in Vienna headed by Thomas Greminger.

I wish to thank Secretary General Lamberto Zannier and the very dedicated OSCE staff in Vienna and in the 18 field missions. I am also grateful for the excellent cooperation with the Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Right, the High Commissioner on National Minorities, the Representative on Freedom of the Media, and the OSCE Parliamentary Assembly.

I wish my successor as Chairperson-in-Office, Ivica Dačić of Serbia, every success. Ivica, you can rely on my full support and that of Switzerland as we continue our engagement within the OSCE Chairmanship as an active Troika Partner.

Finally, I would like to express my sincere gratitude to Basel and its authorities and population, which hosted us in this beautiful city. Thank you very much.

It was a privilege for Switzerland to chair the OSCE. We have been an active participant in the OSCE since the beginning, and we will continue to support it as much as we can in the years ahead.

We will remain fully committed to the efforts to resolve the Ukraine crisis. We also remain fully committed to strengthening the OSCE’s capacity to act. We will seek to promote the discussion on how to reconsolidate European security as a common project, especially by means of the Panel of Eminent Persons that many of you have welcomed over the last days. We will also continue our deliberations on the link between trade issues and security and possible roles for the OSCE in this field, and I invite you to join in and share your own ideas.

As outgoing Chair and Troika member, Switzerland will chair the Asian Partners for Co-operation group. We look forward to this new role, which will also give us the opportunity to promote the notion of cooperative security with countries in East Asia and hopefully build up close partnerships to this end.