Minister of Foreign Affairs Nikos Dendias’ address, via video recorded message, at the 2021 OSCE Mediterranean Conference (12.10.2021)

Honourable Chair,

Distinguished colleagues of the OSCE and the Mediterranean region,

It is my distinct pleasure to address the OSCE Mediterranean Conference.

There was hardly a time in our recent history, when the need for cooperation was more pronounced.

After enduring an unprecedented global health crisis with the COVID-19 Pandemic, we were hit by a climate-related crisis of devastating dimensions this summer.

The Mediterranean region was heavily affected.

The main lesson we learned from the pandemic is that a global crisis can only be addressed through a global, collective response.

Greece responded by cooperativeness and solidarity.

We have already donated one point sixty-nine (1,69) million doses of vaccines.

Four hundred sixty thousand (460.000) were sent to OSCE participating states and seven hundred thousand (700.000) to Mediterranean countries.

Such as Jordan, Egypt, Tunisia and Libya.

Cooperation is not an option, but a necessity.

This is the lesson we must apply as we are called to confront the climate crisis, another global threat that knows no borders.

The same holds for common threats such as transnational organised crime and human trafficking.

Greece has always been committed to contributing to a stable and secure environment in the Eastern Mediterranean.

By promoting good neighborly relations, cooperation and development for all countries in the broader Mediterranean region.

It is of paramount importance for this cooperation to prosper, that our international and regional partners abide by the same principles.

Namely, respect for international law and good neighbourly relations.

No country should consider itself to be exempt from these criteria.

Regrettably, not everyone in our neighborhood shares our vision.

Promoting peace, stability and security, to the benefit of all countries and peoples involved.

Let us all send the message that the answer to our common challenges lies only in respect for international law.

Greece will spare no efforts in order to explore avenues of cooperation with all its neighboring countries.

At the same time, Greece will continue to protect its sovereignty and sovereign rights, across its territory, against any challenge and threat.

Always in accordance with international law and the international Law of the Sea, as reflected in UNCLOS.

Divergence of views is not uncommon among nations, in particular neighboring ones.

International law, however, provides the necessary background and tools for any such divergence to be handled and settled.

We need more cooperation and we need better cooperation.

What we do not need is further tensions and further threats to stability.

The only answer is to preserve, and to bolster, the rules-based international system.

Cooperation for security is the spirit, and the main principle, of the OSCE.

In the same vein, I look forward to the fruitful contribution of this year’s Mediterranean Conference into our common effort.

Together with our Mediterranean partners, in order to strengthen dialogue and cooperation in our wider region.

Thank you.

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