Skip to content

Danish contributions and publications

Statement by the Danish Delegation at the opening of the OSCE Warszaw Human Dimension Conference

Statement by Denmark at the opening session of the Warsaw Human Dimension Conference 2 October 2023 by Permanent Representative, Christian Grønbech-Jensen

Thank you, Mr. Chair,

Denmark fully aligns with the statement made by the European Union, but please allow me to add the following in my national capacity.

As we gather this year for the Warsaw Human Dimension Conference, we do so on the continued backdrop of Russia’s unprovoked, unjustified and illegal war of aggression against Ukraine. And while consensus for the traditional Human Dimension Implementation Meeting was blocked by Russia for the third year in a row, we want to thank the CiO of North Macedonia and ODIHR for organising this conference - thereby insisting on maintaining the OSCE as a unique platform for dialogue with civil society.

Russia’s war and the internal repression of human rights in participating states such as Belarus tragically demonstrate why we need the OSCE’s comprehensive concept of security and its autonomous institutions to help hold us all accountable to our commitments on human rights and democracy. As stated in the Moscow document, respect for human rights, fundamental freedoms, democracy and the rule of law constitutes one of the foundations of the international order, which is why the work carried out in the human dimension is perhaps more important than ever before.

Civil Society and the indispensable work of Human Rights Defenders is an essential part of this and we look forward to engaging in constructive dialogue over the coming weeks.

Thank you.


Denmark supports the OSCE Chairpersonship’s efforts to ensure the functioning of the OSCE Permanent Council

A reinforced meeting of the OSCE Permanent Council took place on September 26th 2023 to address vital challenges to the functioning of the OSCE. Below you can read the Danish statement delivered by Lisbet Zilmer-Johns

Thank you, Mr. Chair

First, let me thank the North Macedonian chairpersonship for convening us today to discuss the unprecedented challenges facing the OSCE. 

The primary source of these challenges is the choice of one participating state to disregard the principles and agreements that this organization was built on. It is telling indeed, that through its aggression against Ukraine, Russia has violated all 10 principles of the Helsinki Decalogue.

The Russian war of aggression against Ukraine is brutal, reprehensible and in violation of the UN charter. We condemn it and insist once again that Russia can and should stop the war immediately by fully and unconditionally withdrawing from all of Ukraine.

Mr. Chair, As it is waging this brutal war, detaining OSCE staff and unilaterally seizing OSCE assets, Russia’s simultaneous message to the rest of us in the OSCE seems to be that consensus here in fact means simply accepting Russia’s demands.

And so, as 2024 draws closer, we find ourselves without agreements on neither a chairpersonship, a budget nor the appointment of the four highest level officials of the OSCE. The OSCE has shown itself to be an adaptable organisation, but we cannot expect it to function next year if these matters are left unresolved.

Mr. Chair,

The Chairpersonship is a very important role for the OSCE to function and deliver. The OSCE must have such political leadership in 2024. There is only one candidate, Estonia, whom we fully support. The OSCE needs a budget which fully enables it to implement its mandate and continue assisting states and populations to make our region more peaceful, stable, democratic and respectful of human rights. We encourage all participating states to join consensus on the budget as soon as possible.

The leaders of the independent institutions are fundamental to one of the key aims of the OSCE – holding us all accountable for living up to our commitments in the field of human rights. The Secretary General carries the increasingly difficult responsibility to keep the organisation running properly, and works hard also to keep it relevant in the eyes of the surrounding world. We fully support the roll-over of all four incumbents.

Chairperson Osmani,

Let me end by expressing our full support to you in the demanding task of leading us through these difficult times and challenges.

Thank you, Mr. Chair.


The OSCE Permanent Council holds special meeting to mark Ukraine’s independence day and 1,5 years of Russia’s war against Ukraine

On 24. August 2023, the OSCE’s Permanent Council held a special meeting to mark Ukraine’s independence day and discuss the 1,5 years of Russia’s war against Ukraine. Read the Danish statement below, as delivered by Deputy Permanent Representative, Kristine Hauge Bjergstrøm

Thank you, Mr. Chair,

Denmark fully aligns with the statement made by the European Union, but please allow me to add the following in my national capacity.
It is heartbreaking that we are no longer counting days or even months. We are now counting in years. One and a half year of Russia’s war of aggression against Ukraine. One and a half year of witnessing Russia’s complete lack of respect for our shared principles, and its utter disregard for our common humanity. Those responsible for war crimes and crimes against humanity must be held to account.

Russia’s war has demonstrated with tragic clarity why we need the OSCE’s comprehensive concept of security. If we were ever in doubt, it shows us why the 1991 Moscow Document states, that respect for human rights, fundamental freedoms, democracy and the rule of law constitutes one of the foundations of the international order. 

When President Zelenskyy visited Denmark earlier this week, he said that we have to work together to put pressure on Russia in order to: “ensure the necessary protection for all the basic values that life in Europe is built on and that have now been completely trampled by Russia in Ukraine.”.

Mr. Chair,

Russia must end this war by immediately, completely and unconditionally withdrawing from the entire territory of Ukraine. 

In the meantime, we will continue to support Ukraine in every way we can. In meeting the humanitarian needs of the Ukrainian people, by supporting the re-construction of Ukraine. And by providing Ukraine with military capabilities to deter Russia’s aggression, including F16 fighter jets, which we expect will add significantly to Ukraine’s long term security. 
Denmark’s very strong commitment to Ukraine stems from a recognition that European and global security depends on the restoration of the rules-based or-der and territorial integrity as enshrined in the UN Charter and the OSCE acquis.

We stand with Ukraine.

Thank you, Mr. Chair. 

Statement by the Delegation of Denmark at the Conference of the States Parties to the Treaty on Conventional Armed Forces in Europe

Vienna 29-30 June 2023

As delivered by Jørgen Gammelgaard, Special Representative for Euro-Atlantic Security, Danish Ministry of Foreign Affairs


Thank you, Mr. Chairperson,

Denmark attaches great importance to the Treaty on Conventional Armed Forces in Europe (CFE Treaty). The Treaty has long been a cornerstone of the European security architecture and benefited all States Parties equally and substantively.

Denmark condemns Russia’s decision to withdraw from the CFE Treaty. This is yet another step towards isolation for Russia as it moves away from the rules-based European security order.


Mr. Chairperson,

Sadly, this move does not come as a surprise. Russia suspended its implementation of the Treaty in 2007 with no proper legal basis. This resulted in continued non-compliance with numerous Treaty provisions.

Moreover, in stark contradiction to the objectives of the CFE Treaty, Russia maintains troops on Georgian and Moldovan territory without the host countries’ consent. In 2014, Russia illegally annexed Crimea while launching at the same time a destabilizing military intervention in eastern Ukraine. And since 24 February 2022 Russia has been waging a full‑scale illegal war of aggression against Ukraine to redraw borders by force and to promote a security order in Europe based on “spheres of interest”.


Mr. Chairperson,

Russia bears full responsibility for the deterioration of co‑operation between the States Parties. It is Russia that do not comply with commitments it had voluntarily undertaken, and it is Russia that started a war of aggression against Ukraine in violation of the CFE Treaty and entirely at odds with the Treaty’s spirit and objectives.


Mr. Chairperson,

Denmark advocates and will continue to advocate a rules-based and co‑operative approach to security in Europe. We strongly support the CFE Treaty and will continue to live up to our obligations. Let me conclude by calling upon Russia to reverse its decision, comply with its obligations under the CFE Treaty and adopt a responsible approach to European security through international arms control and transparency instead of the unrestrained wielding of military power that we are currently witnessing.


Thank you, Mr. Chairperson.


Statement by Denmark at the OSCE 2023 Chairpersonship Security Review Conference 2023 special session on the ‘Security Situation in the OSCE area’.

Vienna, 28-29 June 2023

As delivered by Under-Secretary for Foreign Policy Anders Tang Friborg


Thank you, Mr. Chair,


As we meet today, fighting continues in Ukraine as Russia attempts to change borders by force and promote a security order based on ‘spheres of interest’. For 16 months now, we have been receiving reports about Russian targeting of residential buildings and infrastructure critical for civilian life in Ukraine, about torture and brutal atrocities, deportations of children and many other horrifying practices.


Russia’s war of aggression against Ukraine threatens the peace and security of the Ukrainian people and all of Europe, and has consequences for the whole world. We must ensure that Russia does not achieve its strategic goals in Ukraine. We must ensure that aggression and violations of international law do not pay off.


Thus, support for Ukraine to defend itself and re-establish its full territorial integrity and self-determination in accordance with the UN Charter is and will remain a key strategic priority for Denmark. We will continue the significant military, economic, reconstruction and humanitarian support for Ukraine as long as there is a need for it.



Mr. Chair,


We call once again on Russia to stop its war against Ukraine and withdraw completely and unconditionally from the entire territory of Ukraine within its internationally recognized borders. We call on Belarus to stop its complicity in the Russian military aggression.


Russia must not create a new unacceptable, long-lasting frozen conflict in Ukraine, as it has in Georgia and Moldova, where Russian troops are stationed without the consent of the host nations.



Mr. Chair,


The war we are currently witnessing in Ukraine is what we created this very organisation to avoid. We all, including Russia, have committed to shared principles, political agreements and concrete, day-to-day exchanges in the service of transparency, trust and rules-based peaceful security interaction in this region.


Sadly, with this senseless war, Russia is turning its back on cooperative security. Russia’s disregard of international law, including the UN charter and the very principles which the OSCE was founded on, attempts to challenge our determination to peacefully co-exist in a rules based international order based on values of democracy, freedom, and human rights.


In the face of this, we must continue to work to preserve the existing structures, commitments and mechanisms, which guide this rules-based interaction, including in the OSCE. Even so, the real value of the OSCE will only truly resurface when there is political will by all OSCE Participating States to uphold our common commitments.



Mr. Chair


In closing, I want to once again reaffirm that Denmark stands firmly by Ukraine and its people.



I thank you, Mr. Chair.


Denmark and Switzerland Host International Conference on Justice for Torture Victims with Emphasis on a Victim-Centered Approach and the Right to Redress and Rehabilitation

On 2 June 2023 the Permanent Representations of Denmark and of Switzerland to the OSCE hosted an international conference in Vienna on “Justice for Torture Victims: Applying a victim-centered approach and ensuring the right to redress and rehabilitation in practice”.

The conference was organised with the support of the 2023 OSCE  Chairpersonship of North Macedonia and the OSCE Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights (ODIHR). Read more about the conference here.

Read the welcoming remarks as delivered by the Permanent Representative of Denmark to the OSCE, Ambassador Christian Grønbech-Jensen:


Dear colleagues. Dear valued members of civil society. Ladies and Gentlemen.

On behalf of Denmark and Switzerland, I have the great pleasure of welcoming you to this conference on “Justice for Torture Victims”, which is organised with the support of the 2023 OSCE Chairpersonship of North Macedonia and ODIHR. Thank you all for coming.

This is the fourth time that Denmark and Switzerland organise a conference on torture prevention here in Vienna. Over the years, we have focused on ‘Effective Multilateralism in the Fight Against Torture’ as well as the roles and responsibilities of police and other law enforcement.  Last year, as a response to Russia’s blatant act of aggression against Ukraine, our conference focused on holding perpetrators of acts of torture to account.

One year on – as Russia’s brutal war of aggression against Ukraine continues – Denmark remains as committed as ever to ensuring accountability and justice for the people of Ukraine. We will not tire from saying it: Perpetrators must and will be held to account.

But justice for victims of torture is about more than legal justice in a court of law. It is about putting the victims first. And it is about honouring the right to redress of the victims.

Today, we will engage in an important conversation on how to do exactly that. A conversation on how to overcome the various obstacles, which continue to persist across the OSCE region, to fulfil our shared OSCE commitments to apply a victim-centred approach and to ensure the victims’ right to proper redress and rehabilitation.


Ladies and Gentlemen,

The prevention and eradication of torture is a long-standing Danish priority, which we work to promote in all international organisations, including the OSCE. And we are proud to host two internationally acclaimed organisations in Denmark, who are working to promote and ensure redress and rehabilitation for victims of torture, and who we will also hear from today.

In Tirana in 2020 we, as OSCE participating States, managed to agree on the organisation’s first comprehensive decision on the topic. This was an important milestone for us. But the work is not done with the decision. We continue to receive new alarming testimonies of torture and other ill-treatment, including sexual and gender based violence, from brave survivors of Russia’s war against Ukraine, from Belarus and from other parts of the region.

Today, we hope to put all of you – with all your knowledge and dedication – to work on helping to further our understanding of the tasks still in front of us to assist victims of torture and other ill-treatment. To ensure their rehabilitation.  And to help rebuild their lives.

The road to legal accountability for gross human rights violations is often long, but this only makes today’s focus on rehabilitation even more pertinent.

I am very much looking forward to the fruitful discussions and hopefully many new recommendations from the participants on how to redouble our efforts in the OSCE and beyond to fight torture by putting the victims first.

Before I conclude, I would like to thank the 2023 OSCE Chairpersonship of North Macedonia and ODIHR for their valuable support in organising the event. ODIHR’s toolbox and efforts in the fight against torture is comprehensive and efficient, and we are very happy to have the Director of ODIHR, Mr. Matteo Meccaci, here with us today – online – to share a few introductory remarks.

I would also like to thank our brave keynote speaker, Mr. Anatoliy Harahaty, from Ukraine – who will share his own grave story of surviving torture by Russian forces – and Ms. Tetiana Pechonchyk from ZMINA Human Rights Centre, who will give a short presentation to put the testimony into context. And of course our excellent panellists – both the ones who are online and the ones here in Vienna – for being with us today.


With this I leave you in the capable hands of today’s 'MC’.

Thank you.


Denmark and 37 OSCE countries respond to the deteriorating human rights situation in Belarus 

Joint statement on the report by the Rapporteur under the OSCE Moscow Mechanism on the serious threat to the OSCE human dimension in Belarus since 5 November 2020 as delivered by Ambassador Christian Grønbech-Jensen, Permanent Representative of Denmark to the OSCE, at the 1422nd meeting of the OSCE Permanent Council on 11 May 2023.

Mr. Chair,

I am delivering this statement on behalf of the following 38 delegations who on 23 March 2023 invoked the Moscow Mechanism as a response to the alarming human rights situation in Belarus: Albania, Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Canada, Croatia, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, Germany, Greece, Iceland, Ireland, Italy, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Moldova, Montenegro, Netherlands, North Macedonia, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Serbia, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Ukraine, the United Kingdom, and the United States of America.

On behalf of the invoking States, I wish to thank Professor Hervé Ascensio for his work as Rapporteur under the OSCE’s Moscow Mechanism. We are most grateful for your professional and independent approach to your mandate and for the thorough and well-documented report that you have produced. We regret that the Belarusian authorities refused to cooperate. The fact that you were met by victims of repression who seemingly had lost faith in positive changes, and who reported that fellow victims were terrified and intimidated from providing evidence, is a stark reminder of the severity of the situation.

I sincerely hope that all 57 OSCE participating States will do justice to your report by considering carefully your findings and recommendations, which are addressed, not only to Belarus, but also to OSCE participating States and the wider International Community.


Mr. Chair,

We invoked the Moscow Mechanism to underscore our concerns about the continued deterioration of the internal human rights situation in Belarus and to explore the more recent development of serious abuses linked to Russia’s war of aggression against Ukraine.

For more than two years, we have continuously called upon the Belarusian authorities to put an end to repression and violence. To protect the victims and to ensure the safety of all individuals, without discrimination. To address the recommendations of the 2020 Moscow Mechanism Report. To live up to OSCE and other international commitments and principles. To abide by international law. And to end impunity for human rights violations. But the delegation of Belarus and the Belarusian authorities have – again and again – ignored our legitimate concerns and requests.

The independent report by Professor Ascensio has fully confirmed how Belarusian authorities are continuing their brutal and unprecedented crackdown on opposing voices. The report concludes that “so far, the Government of Belarus has not taken any steps to put an end to this situation, nor to provide effective remedies for the victims. On the contrary, the repressive policy has been steadily increasing over the past two years”.

Legislative amendments have been introduced with the aim of providing the Belarusian authorities with “a full arsenal of legislation designed to hinder any form of opposition”. These amendments include the extension of the death penalty, increased liability for vaguely defined acts, restriction of political rights for Belarusians in exile, and limitations to the freedom of peaceful assembly and association.  

Moreover, the report clearly confirms how, after the outbreak of Russia’s war of aggression against Ukraine on 24 February 2022, repression has been “particularly directed at those expressing their opposition to the war or their support for the Ukrainian people”. Once again, we see how internal repression is linked to external aggression.


Mr. Chair,

The number of political prisoners in Belarus now exceeds 1,486 with activists arguing the real number could be significantly higher. For almost three years, peaceful protesters have been met with brutal force from Belarusian authorities. People have been arbitrarily arrested and detained on politically motivated charges. People have been deprived of their right to a fair trial. Lawyers have been intimidated to stay away from defending those charged on political grounds. At least 100,000 Belarusians have been, and continue to be, forced to flee the country – to leave their homes. And independent media, journalists, and other media workers have been under sustained attack.

The report confirms the excessive violence used by the Belarusian authorities to carry out the repression. The Mission found that “torture or inhuman or degrading treatment are occurring on a regular and organised basis in places of detention and are particularly targeted at those perceived as political opponents”. Further, the report gives evidence of the practice of mass arrests in people’s homes and the use of violence to gain access to personal data, which is later used against individuals.

Meanwhile, Belarusian authorities continue to enjoy impunity.


Mr. Chair,

The UN OHCHR in its latest report on the human rights situation in Belarus presented to the UN Human Rights Council on 22 March concluded that some of the violations committed in Belarus may amount to crimes against humanity.

We appreciate the efforts of the International Accountability Platform for Belarus (IAPB) and other international investigative mechanisms, including under the UN OHCHR, to collect and preserve evidence of the human rights violations in Belarus. Impunity is not an option.


Mr. Chair,

The first steps toward security and stability for the people of Belarus remains for the Belarusian authorities to release all those unjustly imprisoned, to end the campaign of violence against peaceful protesters, and to hold perpetrators to account.

As the report concludes, “without accountability and justice [in Belarus], there can be no security and stability in the long run on the European Continent”.

Against this background, and based on the recommendations in Professor Ascencio’s report, we ask the Belarus delegation:

  • When will the Belarusian authorities cease their brutal repression and release and rehabilitate all political prisoners?
  • When will the Belarusian authorities bring criminal charges against those responsible for human rights violations and abuses, including Belarusian security officials?
  • When will the Belarusian authorities ensure respect for the Belarusian constitution according to which “(t)he republic of Belarus shall exclude acts of military aggression against other states from its territory”?


Mr. Chair,

We thank Professor Ascensio again for the thorough report, and we remain committed to ensuring that the report – and its recommendations – are followed up.

Thank you.  


Foreign Minister Lars Løkke Rasmussen calls for rebuilding and stabilization efforts in Ukraine

The Permanent Council of the OSCE convened extraordinarily on 24 February 2023 to commemorate one full year of the Russian war against Ukraine. Below you can read the messages delivered by Lars Løkke Rasmussen, Minister for Foreign Affairs of Denmark


Thank you Mr. Chair

While Denmark fully aligns with the statement delivered by Mr. Borrell, the High Representative of the European Union, I would like to add the following in my national capacity.

The 24th of February last year was one of the darkest days in our recent history. The brutality of Russia’s troops has horrified us again and again.

But let me be clear once more: We will continue our support to Ukraine. We are committed. And we will remain so.



Mr. Chair

We state our deep condemnation of Russia’s aggression against Ukraine every week in the Hofburg. Today, I want to talk about the future of Ukraine.

I recently visited Mykolaiv with its buildings reduced to rubble. Lack of running water. Lack of heating. Yet, thousands of people have returned since Ukraine regained control over the area. This is the spirit of resilience, we must support.

We need to help Ukraine rebuild, and we need to start now. We must invest in the Ukrainian economy, we must rebuild infrastructure and improve livelihoods.

It is not too early for such efforts. On the contrary, it is essential for the resilience of Ukraine and the Ukrainian people to be able to continue their fight for freedom. They are not only fighting for themselves, but for all of Europe’s freedom.

We can do this while also continuing to provide military support and meet urgent humanitarian needs. And we will continue to do so for as long as it takes.

Because we stand with Ukraine.


Thank you Mr. Chair.


Statement by Denmark. Regular meeting of the OSCE Forum for Security Cooperation, General Statements. 22 February 2023.

As delivered by Permanent Representative Christian Grønbech-Jensen

Mr. Chair

Denmark fully aligns itself with the statement delivered on behalf of the European Union. Allow me to add the following in my national capacity.

Russia’s aggression against Ukraine has brought war back to Europe on a scale and with a brutality, we had not imagined ever to see again.

With its war of choice, Russia has violated the principles, political agreements and concrete transparency measures that we have worked for in the OSCE in the past many years in these very rooms.

Since 24th February last year Russia has demonstrated its continuous disregard for the commitments we all made to ensure that wars of aggression and the changing of borders through death and destruction were things of the past. Russia has shown its disregard for the European security architecture and for the Forum for Security Co-operation as one of its guardians.

Mr. Chair

A few weeks ago, the Danish Prime Minister witnessed the destruction in Mykolaiv as a guest of president Zelenskyy. On the occasion of the visit, Prime Minister Mette Frederiksen said, and I quote: “There is an immediate need for the rest of the free world to support Ukraine’s fight for freedom. Ukraine can always count on Denmark as a close friend and partner. We will together with our allies and partners continue the comprehensive support to Ukraine, as long as it is needed”. End of quote.

Mr. Chair,

After one year, we know this by heart: We condemn Russia’s aggression against Ukraine in the strongest possible terms. Russia must immediately, completely and unconditionally withdraw from the entire territory of Ukraine within its internationally recognised borders. Furthermore, the Belarusian authorities must stop their support for Russia's illegal war of aggression.

I sincerely hope that the repetition of these messages will soon no longer be needed, because they will finally have been heard and heeded by Russia and Belarus.

I thank you, Mr. Chair


Denmark and Switzerland Present Recommendations from International Conference on "Fighting Impunity for Acts of Torture"

On 13 June 2022 Denmark and Switzerland hosted the international conference on “Fighting Impunity for Acts of Torture: Ensuring accountability for Perpetrators and Justice for Victims”, with the support of the OSCE 2022 Polish Chairpersonship and the OSCE Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights (ODIHR). 

The Conference served as a platform for representatives of civil society, OSCE countries and institutions to engage in a dialogue on how to overcome current challenges to achieving accountability for acts of torture and other ill-treatment, not least in the context of Russia’s ongoing war of aggression against Ukraine. 

The co-organisers have issued a publication with recommendations from the Conference participants in order to structure and disseminate the recommendations made by the speakers and participants at the conference, as well as references made to recent publications on the topic.

The recommendations are thematically grouped, and the publication does not endorse any recommendation over the other. Our hope is that the document can serve as inspiration for further dialogue and possible action for all relevant stakeholders. 

You can read the publication here.


Bi-national statement by Germany and Denmark delivered at the Human Dimension Committee meeting on 2 November 2021

See more here.


Effective Multilateralism in the Fight Against Torture: Trends in the OSCE region and the way forward

Recommendations from conference participants, September 2019

On 5 June 2019, Denmark, Switzerland and Austria organised the international conference, “Effective Multilateralism in the Fight Against Torture: Trends in the OSCE region and the way forward”, in cooperation with the Slovak OSCE Chairmanship and the OSCE Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights (ODIHR). This publication is the organisers’ attempt at collecting and structuring the recommendations made by the speakers and participants at the conference. The overview document is drafted without prejudice and does not endorse any recommendations over others. Our hope is, however, that the document can serve as inspiration for further dialogue and possible action for relevant stakeholders.

See the folder here.