BERN, 2 April 2014 – OSCE Chairperson-in-Office and Swiss Foreign Minister, Didier Burkhalter today expressed satisfaction with the state of deployment of the OSCE Special Monitoring Mission to Ukraine.
Ten advance teams have successfully deployed throughout the country to all the locations foreseen (Chernivtsi, Dnepropetrovsk, Donetsk, Ivano-Frankivsk, Kharkiv, Kherson, Kyiv, Luhansk, Lviv and Odessa). Seconded monitors are joining the advance teams this week, with all deployment going according to schedule.
As of Wednesday, 2 April, 2014, the total number of staff in the Special Monitoring Mission, which in a first phase will consist of 100 and may expand up to 500 monitors, has risen to 63. More than 600 applications were submitted in response to the first vacancy note. 30 participating States are currently represented in the Mission.
“I would like to express my sincere gratitude to all the participating States that volunteered to second high-quality candidates on such short notice, as well as to all those who have offered to support the Mission through financial or material contributions. Without the prompt and generous contributions of all, the Special Mission could not have been deployed in such an effective way” Burkhalter said.
He was grateful to the acting Chief Monitor Ambassador Adam Kobieracki for skillfully launching the mission and overseeing the deployment of advance teams across Ukraine, the OSCE Chairperson-in-Office added.
He also wished to thank the host country of the Mission, Ukraine, for the efficient cooperation, he continued.
Burkhalter announced the appointment of Ambassador Ertogrül Apakan of Turkey as Chief Monitor and of Mr. Mark Etherington of the United Kingdom and Mr. Alexander Hug of Switzerland as Deputy Chief Monitors of the Special Monitoring Mission to Ukraine.
Ambassador Apakan has had a longstanding diplomatic career, most recently as Permanent Representative of Turkey to the United Nations (2009 – 2012) and as Undersecretary, Ministry of Foreign Affairs (2006 – 2009).
Mark Etherington, in addition to OSCE experience as Senior Mission Liaison Officer, has been Team Leader in South Sudan and Team Leader for the UK Government Stabilisation Unit with field missions to various countries on behalf of the UK Foreign and Commonwealth Office.
Currently Head of Section/Senior Advisor at the OSCE High Commissioner on National Minorities, Alexander Hug has worked as Head of Human Rights & Gender Officer for EULEX Kosovo and has held various positions in the Balkans and Eastern Europe.
“Ambassador Apakan, Mr. Etherington and Mr. Hug bring a wealth of experience and regional expertise to the Special Monitoring Mission as it enters its full deployment and operational stage”, Burkhalter said. “Under their leadership, I trust that the Special Monitoring Mission will contribute to fostering peace, stability and security and to reducing tensions on the ground in Ukraine,” he concluded.