Search

 

Cablegate: Fsc October 29: Ministerial Draft Decisions Debated

VZCZCXRO0530
PP RUEHAST RUEHFL RUEHLA RUEHMRE RUEHPOD RUEHROV RUEHSR
DE RUEHVEN #0264/01 3051626
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
P 311626Z OCT 08
FM USMISSION USOSCE
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 6011
INFO RUCNOSC/ORG FOR SECURITY CO OP IN EUR COLLECTIVE
RHEHNSC/NSC WASHDC
RUCNDT/USMISSION USUN NEW YORK 0621
RUEHUNV/USMISSION UNVIE VIENNA 1176
RHMFISS/CDR USEUCOM VAIHINGEN GE
RHMFISS/CDRUSAREUR HEIDELBERG GE
RUEAIIA/CIA WASHDC
RHDLCNE/CINCUSNAVEUR LONDON UK
RUEKJCS/DIA WASHDC
RUEASWA/DTRA ALEX WASHINGTON DC
RUESDT/DTRA-OSES DARMSTADT GE
RHMFIUU/HQ USCENTCOM MACDILL AFB FL
RUEKJCS/JCS WASHDC
RUEKJCS/JOINT STAFF WASHDC
RUEKJCS/SECDEF WASHDC
RUEHGV/USMISSION GENEVA 1116

UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 05 USOSCE 000264

SENSITIVE
SIPDIS

STATE FOR VCI/CCA, VCI/NRRC, EUR/RPM, EUR/PRA, EUR/CARC,
SCA/CEN, SCA/RA, PM/WRA
JCS FOR J-5
OSD FOR ISA (PERENYI)
NSC FOR HAYES
USUN FOR LEGAL, POL
EUCOM FOR J-5
CENTCOM FOR J-5
UNVIE FOR AC
GENEVA FOR CD

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: PARM PREL KCFE OSCE RS XG
SUBJECT: FSC OCTOBER 29: MINISTERIAL DRAFT DECISIONS DEBATED

REF: OCT 28 WRIGHT-SILBERBERG EMAIL

1. (SBU) Summary: At the October 29 Forum for Security
Cooperation, the defense minister of Cyprus appealed for OSCE
help in disposing of surplus MANPADS ODIHR director Lenarcic
urged participating States (pS) to implement the
recommendations of the ODIHR Handbook on human rights in the
armed forces. The handbook's author, Ian Leigh of Durham
University, gave an overview of the handbook's wide-ranging
provisions, including freedoms of association, political
choice, and religion. The U.S. criticized the handbook as
lacking a mandate from pS and squandering ODIHR resources
when fundamental freedoms are under attack in several pS.

2. (SBU) Russia responded to Georgia's statement claim at the
October 22 FSC that Russian forces had not fully complied
with the Medvedev-Sarkozy agreement and were still occupying
Georgian territory. Russia disputed Georgia's territorial
claims and insisted its forces were operating within the
terms of the peace agreement.

3. (SBU) In the working groups, debate continued over the
Ministerial Council draft decision on FSC issues, with Russia
insisting that the decision must include a requirement to
produce progress reports on the Code of Conduct and arms
control. The U.S. opposes, preferring not to tie the hands
of the FSC a year before the next Ministerial. Russia is
also arguing with Georgia over language describing Security
Dialogue discussions of their August conflict. End summary.

Cyprus Asks for Help with MANPADS Disposal
------------------------------------------

4. (SBU) Costas Papacostas, the defense minister of Cyprus,
appealed for assistance in disposing of 324 surplus SA-7
"Strela" MANPADS. Cyprus is maintaining the weapons in
several small secure stockpiles but wishes to dismantle them
in a safe and environmentally benign manner. Turkey noted a
Greek newspaper announced Cyprus was eliminating its MANPADS
as it recently acquired the "Mistral" air defense system.

ODIHR Handbook on Human Rights in Military
------------------------------------------

5. (SBU) Amb. Janez Lenarcic, director of the OSCE Office of
Democratic Institutions and Human Rights, told the Security
Dialogue that the recently published ODIHR "Handbook on Human
Rights and Fundamental Freedoms of Armed Forces Personnel"
will assist pS in ensuring the OSCE acquis in human rights
benefits all their citizens, including those in the armed
forces. Lenarcic cited recurring report of brutality and
hazing in the armed forces and the need to make women more
welcome at all ranks of the military.

6. (SBU) The handbook proposes measures to address these
problems, including military ombudsmen, standing monitoring
regimes, and professional associations or unions. While
accepting that some restrictions on the freedoms of military
members may be required by operational necessities, he
contended these must be proportionate and enacted into law.
Lenarcic appealed for financial support for ODIHR's work in
publicizing and assisting pS to implement the recommendations
of the handbook in 2009.


USOSCE 00000264 002 OF 005


7. (SBU) Professor Ian Leigh of Durham University (England),
the principal author of the handbook, gave an overview of its
many topics and recommendations, including measures to ensure
full enforcement of freedoms of association religion,
political activity, and gender equality (FSC-PC.DEL/36/08).

8. (SBU) France, and on behalf of the EU, noted the Code of
Conduct was among the inspirations for the handbook, which it
enthusiastically welcomed. The UK echoed French remarks.
Sweden praised ODIHR for the handbook, and predicted its
recommendations would strengthen discipline and esprit in the
forces. Sweden also asked if Lenarcic had any suggestions
for the ongoing revision of the Code of Conduct
Questionnaire. Switzerland noted the role of its Geneva
Center for the Democratic Control of the Armed Forces in the
creation of the handbook. Germany asked what plans ODIHR had
for further outreach on the handbook.
U.S. Critique
-------------

7. (SBU) The U.S. (Silberberg) announced the handbook would
be reviewed by experts in capital and criticized ODIHR for
acting outside its mandate in preparing the handbook. The
U.S. noted that, at a time when several pS are not fulfilling
their key human rights commitments, it was important for
ODIHR to focus on the core elements of its mission rather
than, for example, the right of military members to form
labor unions. The U.S. noted the handbook's extensive
references to EU agreements that it and some pS are not party
to and urged the OSCE to promote universal and OSCE standards.

8. (SBU) Responding to the U.S. comments, Lenarcic denied
ODIHR was ignoring any parts of its broad mandate while
preparing the handbook. Leigh added that the handbook
includes UN and other international agreements, not just the
EU documents that are in force in the majority of pS.

9. (SBU) Lenarcic said a follow-up event was planned in
Georgia and Armenia had requested assistance on matters
related to the handbook. He declined to suggest any changes
to the Code Questionnaire but encouraged all pS to submit
responses that will help ODIHR in assessing the status of
human rights in the military forces.

Georgia-Russia Sparring
-----------------------

10. (SBU) Russia, in response to Georgia's charge at the
October 22 FSC that Russian forces were still occupying
Georgian territory in violation of the Medvedev-Sarkozy
agreement, disputed the specifics of Georgia's territorial
claims and insisted its forces were present only to maintain
law and order and aid reconstruction efforts. Georgia did
not accept Ulyanov's assurances.

Montenegro Joins Dayton Article IV
----------------------------------

11. (U) Montenegro announced its accession to the Dayton
Peace Accords Article IV agreement on sub-regional arms
control.

Cyber Security Decision
-----------------------

USOSCE 00000264 003 OF 005

12. (SBU) The decision to hold a work shop on cyber security
in March 2009 was adopted without discussion. (FSC.DEC/10/08)

MC.DD on FSC Issues
-------------------

13. (SBU) Debate continued over the Ministerial draft
decision on FSC issues provisions referring to Security
Dialogue discussions of the August Georgia-Russia conflict
and requiring progress reports in 2009 on the Code of Conduct
and arms control/CSBMs. Russia and Georgia cannot agree to
language describing the August war. Georgia proposed
"conflict between pS" but France objected this suggested
conflict by all pS. The chair, Finland (Kangaste),
subsequently issued a revised draft with the phrase "armed
conflict in August 2008." (MC.DD/6/08/Rev.2) Many
delegations remain skeptical that Georgia and Russia would
agree even to this shorthand.

14. (SBU) Germany (Schweizer) proposed alternate language for
OP3, which refers to progress reports for the 2009
Ministerial. The chair included this new alternate in the
latest version of the decision (MC.DD/6/08/Rev.2). While the
German suggestion softens the requirement for the Code and
arms control reports with "should," it still "requests"
submission of reports and relegates other areas of FSC work
to the "as appropriate" category. However, there appears to
be wide support for this version or the original version of
OP3 mentioning only the two reports on the Code and arms
control.

15. (SBU) Ulyanov told USDEL on the margins he could not
understand why it opposed the requirement to report on the
Code and arms control but not the companion decision tasking
to report on SALW. Referring to the draft progress report on
arms control in preparation for the 2008 Ministerial, he
asked what was the U.S. afraid of?

MC.DD on SALW
-------------

16. (SBU) The chair issued a revision of the Ministerial
draft decision on SALW and stockpiles of conventional
ammunition (MC.DD/7/08/Rev.2) to accommodate quibbles from
some delegations over the precise nature of their obligations
under the OP3 requirement to establish a "legal framework"
for brokering per FSC.DEC/8/04.

17. (SBU) The U.S. announced, per ref email, its agreement to
the decision, particularly OP2 tic 2 requiring review of the
OSCE Document on SALW, was conditioned on any "further
actions" being limited to implementation of the existing
document and would not go beyond the scope of the current
document. While there was no comment at the working group,
Ulyanov subsequently told USDEL that he would object to this
interpretation at a future meeting as it foreclosed the
chance of doing any "real work." He added that if the pS
were to be limited only to implementation of exiting
documents there was no reason for the FSC to meet. He
promised to return to this theme in future meetings.

Defense Planning Deadline
-------------------------

USOSCE 00000264 004 OF 005

18. (SBU) Russia revived its 2007 proposal to establish a
single deadline of September 30 for submission of defense
planning information under the Vienna Document. The revised
version also requires pS that will miss the deadline to
inform the CPC and other pS by September 30 of the tentative
date of submission (FSC.DEL/494/07/Rev.3). A translation
error in OP2, "coming year" should read "current year" was
corrected after the meeting (FSC.DEL/494/07/Rev.3/Corr.1).
Ulyanov said all but three of the pS have fiscal years that
coincide with the calendar and, ergo, should have approved
defense budgets by September 30. He noted without further
comment that Canada, the UK, and the U.S. have different
fiscal years. Norway, Sweden, and Germany supported the
proposal.

19. (SBU) The U.S. said it could not support the proposal,
noting that the Vienna Document (para 15) does not contain a
single deadline for the simple reason that pS complete their
defense budgets at different times. If Russia was concerned
about the status of late submissions, the U.S. could support
a chair's statement reaffirming the provisions of para 15
requiring explanations for late submissions and projected
dates of delivery.

20. (SBU) Ulyanov replied there was no point in a chair's
statement: there had to be a fixed deadline for the CPC to
send reminders to late pS. The only option was to ignore the
problem. If that was the advice of the U.S., then Russia
would withdraw its proposal.

SALW by Air
-----------

21. (SBU) The draft decision on best practices and a
questionnaire on air transport of SALW (FSC.DD/10/08/Rev.2)
was approved without discussion and will be considered at the
November 4 Plenary.

End-User Certificates
---------------------

22. (SBU) The revised draft decision for an information
exchange on end-user certificates (FSC.DD/9/08/Rev.1) was
widely supported. The U.S. gave provisional support, subject
to final guidance. Russia objected to the recommendation in
OP1 to submit an English translation of the certificate. The
chair subsequently issued a revision (FSC.DD/9/08/Rev.3) that
deletes this recommendation but retains the requirement that
certificates be accompanied by a translation into one of the
six official OSCE languages.

Melange "Overview"
------------------

23. (SBU) There is wide support for the proposal welcoming
the Finnish-prepared "overview" of melange (rocket fuel
oxidizer) disposal (FSC.DEL/148/08/Rev.1). The U.S. proposed
language for OP2 making the CPC tasking subject to available
funding. This has been reflected in a subsequent revision
(FSC.DD/13/08).

Code of Conduct Questionnaire
-----------------------------

USOSCE 00000264 005 OF 005

24. (SBU) Sweden and Denmark proposed deleting reference to
UNSCR 1325 on gender issues from the draft decision and
replacing it with an expanded reference to the UN Charter and
"fundamental freedoms" pertaining to inter alia "sex." The
change was suggested to meet Turkish concerns with including
gender issues in the Questionnaire. Turkey expressed
provisional support.

25. (SBU) Russia insists on retaining the I.3.1. and I.3.2.
questions on arms control and CSBMs in order to achieve a
document "balanced" between, on the one hand, terrorism and
the democratic control of the armed forces, and, on the
other, traditional political-military concerns. Russia also
wants to restore the earlier deleted II.1.2. question on
taking into account the "legitimate security concerns of
other States" (Code paras 3, 10, and 13). Germany countered
that this question was deleted as responses would inevitably
involve disclosure of sensitive defense planning information.

26. (SBU) Ulyanov also indicated frustration with the
constant revisions of the draft Questionnaire and said
anything resembling a final version would still require
perhaps a month and a half of review in Moscow.

27. (SBU) The chair announced it would make the proposal a
draft decision and issue a revision although informal
negotiations are expected to continue (FSC.DD/14/08).

Next Meeting
------------

28. (SBU) The next FSC meeting will be on November 4 and will
feature a Security Dialogue presentation on follow-up work in
the OSCE on the third Biennial Meeting of States on the UN
Program of Action of SALW.
FINLEY

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
World Headlines

 

Werewolf: Gordon Campbell On North Korea, Neo-Nazism, And Milo

With a bit of luck the planet won’t be devastated by nuclear war in the next few days. US President Donald Trump will have begun to fixate on some other way to gratify his self-esteem – maybe by invading Venezuela or starting a war with Iran. More>>

Victory Declared: New Stabilisation Funding From NZ As Mosul Is Retaken

New Zealand has congratulated the Iraqi government on the successful liberation of Mosul from ISIS after a long and hard-fought campaign. More>>

Gordon Campbell: On The Current US Moves Against North Korea

If Martians visited early last week, they’d probably be scratching their heads as to why North Korea was being treated as a potential trigger for global conflict... More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On The Lessons From Corbyn’s Campaign

Leaving partisan politics aside – and ignoring Jeremy Corbyn’s sensational election campaign for a moment – it has to be said that Britain is now really up shit creek... More>>

ALSO:

Another US Court: Fourth Circuit Rules Muslim Ban Discriminatory

ACLU: Step by step, point by point, the court laid out what has been clear from the start: The president promised to ban Muslims from the United States, and his executive orders are an attempt to do just that. More>>

ALSO: