Ambassador Clemens Koja of Austria, appointed by the Italian OSCE Chairmanship as the Head of the OSCE Mission to Skopje, took office today. He succeeds Nina Suomalainen who completed her term as Head of Mission in April.
“I am happy to be taking up this important post in the midst of an ongoing reform process in the country in many key areas, such as the rule of law, media, public administration and the police,” said Koja. “I look forward to working with representatives of the institutions and civil society, as well as all stakeholders to further deepen the well-established co-operation with the Mission,” OSCE press release reads.
Koja has over 29 years of professional experience in the Foreign Service. Previously, he served as the Permanent Representative of Austria to the OSCE in Vienna, Austria’s Ambassador in Belgrade and Ljubljana, Deputy Head of the Austrian Embassy in Madrid and Director of the Southern European Department at Austria’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs. He has studied law at the Universities of Salzburg and Vienna and holds a Master’s degree in catholic theology.
The key priorities of the OSCE Mission to Skopje are advancing constructive inter-ethnic relations and supporting the further implementation of the 2001 Ohrid Framework Agreement and its essential pillars: anti-discrimination, education, decentralization, equitable representation, smaller communities and the use of languages. The Mission works with authorities to implement reforms in areas such as elections, democratic policing, local governance, media and the judiciary.