The Council of Albanian Ambassadors would like to bring to the Albanian public and the Diplomatic Corps attention, the unethical reaction of the Head of the OSCE Presence in Albania Bernd Borchard, to the political slogans yelled at him by a group of protesters, while exercising the right of peaceful assembly in front Tirana’s police directorate in the evening of 13 October.
The footage of Mr. Borchard’s overreaction is publicly available on Youtube at the following link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Vm_wZ6Fugg8.
The Council of Albanian Ambassadors while showing respect to all diplomatic missions accredited in the country certainly requires the same respect for Albanian people and their rights to peacefully protest.
Because of their diplomatic functions or personal choices, the heads of the OSCE Presence in Albania, including Bernd Borchard, have always been prominent figures in the country’s public life. Therefore, they cannot claim immunity from criticism for their activities and political statements that are under constant public scrutiny.
In this context, Mr. Borchard’s reaction was offensive, unethical and undignified for a high-level OSCE representative whose mission is to help build democratic institution and rule of law.
Disrespectful reactions of this kind bear reputational risks for the OSCE that could seriously undermine the credibility and standing of the organization in Albania.
We remain hopeful that such unprofessional and careless conduct by a head of OSCE field operation shall be subject of due measures in line with the OSCE’s staff rules and regulations, code of ethics and other rules of procedure.