OSCE appoints French secretary general

2nd June 2005, Comments 0 comments

VIENNA, June 2 (AFP) - The OSCE, a transatlantic, pan-European security body, on Thursday designated Frenchman Marc Perrin de Brichambaut as its new secretary general, or chief administrative officer.

VIENNA, June 2 (AFP) - The OSCE, a transatlantic, pan-European security body, on Thursday designated Frenchman Marc Perrin de Brichambaut as its new secretary general, or chief administrative officer.  

Perrin de Brichambaut's appointment, made at a meeting in Vienna of the OSCE's 55 member states, will become official on June 10, unless objections are raised by members, and his three-year term will begin on June 21, OSCE spokesman Richard Murphy said.  

While the secretary general oversees the day-to-day running of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe, the body has a rotating presidency, currently held by Slovenian Foreign Minister Dimitrij Rupel.  

Perrin de Brichambaut, 56, is a diplomatic adviser to the French defence ministry and a former French ambassador to the OSCE.  

A Western diplomat, who asked not to be named, said Perrin de Brichambaut, who was backed by the United States, had been chosen because he had a lot of experience in international politics, especially in security issues.  

He succeeds Slovakian Jan Kubis, who has been secretary general for six years.  

The OSCE, which spans the geographical area from Vancouver to Vladivostok, is the successor to the Cold-War-era Conference on Security and Cooperation in Europe (CSCE), which "was created to serve as a multilateral forum for dialogue and negotiation between East and West," according to the OSCE web site.  

The OSCE's highest-profile activity is now election monitoring.  

OSCE observers documented fraud in Ukrainian presidential elections last year that led to a re-running of the poll and the election of Viktor Yushchenko.  

Russia has since then sharply criticized the OSCE for bias against former Soviet-bloc states, claiming that it often condemns elections in these nations while not applying the same scrutiny to ballots in the West.  

Russia has called for a shift in emphasis in the OSCE away from human rights activities, such as election monitoring, to focus more on security and economic issues and also said it wanted to contribute less to the organization's budget.  

The OSCE reached an agreement May 12 on the body's 2005 budget after four months of deadlock.  

Russia had wanted to have its contribution - roughly nine percent of the USD 168 million (EUR 132 million) budget - reduced, but failed to convince other states to do this.  

Murphy said contributions were the same for 2005 as they were last year, but that the matter would again be discussed before the 2006 budget is drafted.

© AFP

Subject: French News

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