Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe

Last updated

Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe

OSCE logo.svg
Logo
Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (orthographic projection).svg
Secretariat Vienna, Austria
Largest city New York City
Official languages English, French, German, Italian, Russian, Spanish
Type Intergovernmental organization
with no legal personality
Membership 57 participating countries
11 partners for cooperation
Leaders
Flag of Sweden.svg Ann Linde

Matteo Mecacci
Teresa Ribeiro
Kairat Abdrakhmanov
Helga Schmid
Establishment
 As the Conference on Security and Co-operation in Europe
July 1973
30 July – 1 August 1975
21 November 1990
 Renamed OSCE
1 January 1995
Area
 Total
50,119,801 km2 (19,351,363 sq mi)
Population
 2018 estimate
1,276,751,497 [1] (3rd)
 Density
25/km2 (64.7/sq mi)
GDP  (nominal)2018 estimate
 Total
US$45 trillion [2]
 Per capita
US$35,000
Website
www.osce.org

The Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE) is the world's largest security-oriented intergovernmental organization. Its mandate includes issues such as arms control, promotion of human rights, freedom of the press, and fair elections. It employs around 3,460 people, mostly in its field operations but also in its secretariat in Vienna, Austria, and its institutions. It has its origins in the mid 1975 Conference on Security and Co-operation in Europe (CSCE) held in Helsinki, Finland.

Contents

The OSCE is concerned with early warning, conflict prevention, crisis management, and post-conflict rehabilitation. Its 57 participating countries are located in Europe, northern and central Asia, and North America. The participating states cover much of the land area of the Northern Hemisphere. It was created during the Cold War era as an East–West forum. [3]

History

Helmut Schmidt, Erich Honecker, Gerald Ford and Bruno Kreisky at the 1975 CSCE summit in Helsinki, Finland. Bundesarchiv Bild 183-P0805-314, Helsinki, KSZE-Konferenz, Schlussakte.jpg
Helmut Schmidt, Erich Honecker, Gerald Ford and Bruno Kreisky at the 1975 CSCE summit in Helsinki, Finland.

The Organization has its roots in the 1973 Conference on Security and Co-operation in Europe (CSCE). Talks had been mooted about a European security grouping since the 1950s but the Cold War prevented any substantial progress until the talks at Dipoli in Espoo began in November 1972. These talks were held at the suggestion of the Soviet Union which wished to use the talks to maintain its control over the communist countries in Eastern Europe, and President of Finland Urho Kekkonen hosted them in order to bolster his policy of neutrality. Western Europe, however, saw these talks as a way to reduce the tension in the region, furthering economic cooperation and obtaining humanitarian improvements for the populations of the Communist bloc.

The recommendations of the talks, in the form of "The Blue Book", gave the practical foundations for a three-stage conference called the "Helsinki process". [4] The CSCE opened in Helsinki on 3 July 1973 with 35 states sending representatives. Stage I only took five days to agree to follow the Blue Book. Stage II was the main working phase and was conducted in Geneva from 18 September 1973 until 21 July 1975. The result of Stage II was the Helsinki Final Act which was signed by the 35 participating states during Stage III, which took place in Finlandia Hall from 30 July – 1 August 1975. It was opened by Holy See's diplomat Cardinal Agostino Casaroli, who was chairman of the conference.

The concepts of improving relations and implementing the act were developed over a series of follow-up meetings, with major gatherings in Belgrade (4 October 1977 8 March 1978), Madrid (11 November 1980 9 September 1983) and Vienna (4 November 1986 19 January 1989).

The fall of the Soviet Union required a change of role for the CSCE. The Charter of Paris for a New Europe, signed on 21 November 1990, marked the beginning of this change. With the changes capped by the renaming of the CSCE to the OSCE on 1 January 1995, in accord with the results of the conference held in Budapest, Hungary, in 1994. The OSCE now had a formal secretariat, Senior Council, Parliamentary Assembly, Conflict Prevention Centre, and Office for Free Elections (later becoming the Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights).

In December 1996, the "Lisbon Declaration on a Common and Comprehensive Security Model for Europe for the Twenty-First Century" affirmed the universal and indivisible nature of security on the European continent.

In Istanbul on 19 November 1999, the OSCE ended a two-day summit by calling for a political settlement in Chechnya and adopting a Charter for European Security. According to then Minister of Foreign Affairs Igor Ivanov, this summit marked a turning point in Russian perception of the OSCE, from an organization that expressed Europe's collective will, to an organization that serves as a Western tool for "forced democratization". [5]

Through its Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights (ODIHR), the OSCE observes and assesses elections in its member states, in order to support fair and transparent democratic processes, in keeping with the mutual standards to which the organization is committed; [6] between 1994 and 2004 the OSCE sent teams of observers to monitor more than 150 elections, typically focusing on elections in emerging democracies. [7] In 2004, at the invitation of the United States Government, the ODIHR deployed an assessment mission, made up of participants from six OSCE member states, which observed that year's US presidential election and produced a report. [8] It was the first time that a US presidential election was the subject of OSCE monitoring, although the organization had previously monitored state-level American elections in Florida and California, in 2002 and 2003. [7] The 2004 assessment took place against the backdrop of the controversial recount effort in the 2000 US presidential election, [7] and came about largely through the initiative of 13 Democratic members of the United States House of Representatives. That group, which included Barbara Lee, of California, and Eddie Bernice Johnson, of Texas, initially addressed a request for election observers to the United Nations, in a letter to Kofi Annan, the UN Secretary-General, but the request was declined. [6] Subsequently, the administration of President George W. Bush, through the State Department, headed by Secretary of State Colin Powell, responded to the lawmakers' concerns by inviting the OSCE election-monitoring mission. [6]

Languages

The six official languages of the OSCE are English, French, German, Italian, Spanish and Russian. [9]

Participating states

OSCE signatories as of 2012
.mw-parser-output .div-col{margin-top:0.3em;column-width:30em}.mw-parser-output .div-col-small{font-size:90%}.mw-parser-output .div-col-rules{column-rule:1px solid #aaa}.mw-parser-output .div-col dl,.mw-parser-output .div-col ol,.mw-parser-output .div-col ul{margin-top:0}.mw-parser-output .div-col li,.mw-parser-output .div-col dd{page-break-inside:avoid;break-inside:avoid-column}
.mw-parser-output .legend{page-break-inside:avoid;break-inside:avoid-column}.mw-parser-output .legend-color{display:inline-block;min-width:1.25em;height:1.25em;line-height:1.25;margin:1px 0;text-align:center;border:1px solid black;background-color:transparent;color:black}.mw-parser-output .legend-text{}
signed Helsinki Final Act and Paris Charter
signed Helsinki Final Act only
non-signatory
partner for cooperation OSCE acts signatories.png
OSCE signatories as of 2012
  signed Helsinki Final Act only
  non-signatory
  partner for cooperation
StateAdmissionSigned the
Helsinki Final Act
Signed the
Charter of Paris
Flag of Albania.svg  Albania 19 June 199116 September 199117 September 1991
Flag of Andorra.svg  Andorra 25 April 199610 November 199917 February 1998
Flag of Armenia.svg  Armenia 30 January 19928 July 199217 April 1992
Flag of Austria.svg  Austria 25 June 19731 August 197521 November 1990
Flag of Azerbaijan.svg  Azerbaijan 30 January 19928 July 199220 December 1993
Flag of Belarus.svg  Belarus 30 January 199226 February 19928 April 1993
Flag of Belgium (civil).svg  Belgium 25 June 19731 August 197521 November 1990
Flag of Bosnia and Herzegovina.svg  Bosnia and Herzegovina 30 April 19928 July 1992 
Flag of Bulgaria.svg  Bulgaria 25 June 19731 August 197521 November 1990
Flag of Canada (Pantone).svg  Canada 25 June 19731 August 197521 November 1990
Flag of Croatia.svg  Croatia 24 March 19928 July 1992 
Flag of Cyprus.svg  Cyprus 25 June 19731 August 197521 November 1990
Flag of the Czech Republic.svg  Czech Republic 1 January 1993  [Note 1]   [Note 1]
Flag of Denmark.svg  Denmark 25 June 19731 August 197521 November 1990
Flag of Estonia.svg  Estonia 10 September 199114 October 19916 December 1991
Flag of Finland.svg  Finland 25 June 19731 August 197521 November 1990
Flag of France.svg  France 25 June 19731 August 197521 November 1990
Flag of Georgia.svg  Georgia 24 March 19928 July 199221 January 1994
Flag of Germany.svg  Germany
- as Flag of Germany.svg  West Germany
- as Flag of East Germany.svg  East Germany
25 June 19731 August 197521 November 1990
Flag of Greece.svg  Greece 25 June 19731 August 197521 November 1990
Flag of the Vatican City.svg   Holy See 25 June 19731 August 197521 November 1990
Flag of Hungary.svg  Hungary 25 June 19731 August 197521 November 1990
Flag of Iceland.svg  Iceland 25 June 19731 August 197521 November 1990
Flag of Ireland.svg  Ireland 25 June 19731 August 197521 November 1990
Flag of Italy.svg  Italy 25 June 19731 August 197521 November 1990
Flag of Kazakhstan.svg  Kazakhstan 30 January 19928 July 199223 September 1992
Flag of Kyrgyzstan.svg  Kyrgyzstan 30 January 19928 July 19923 June 1994
Flag of Latvia.svg  Latvia 10 September 199114 October 19916 December 1991
Flag of Liechtenstein.svg  Liechtenstein 25 June 19731 August 197521 November 1990
Flag of Lithuania.svg  Lithuania 10 September 199114 October 19916 December 1991
Flag of Luxembourg.svg  Luxembourg 25 June 19731 August 197521 November 1990
Flag of Malta.svg  Malta 25 June 19731 August 197521 November 1990
Flag of Moldova.svg  Moldova 30 January 199226 February 199229 January 1993
Flag of Monaco.svg  Monaco 25 June 19731 August 197521 November 1990
Flag of Mongolia.svg  Mongolia 21 November 2012 [Note 2]  
Flag of Montenegro.svg  Montenegro 22 June 20061 September 2006 
Flag of the Netherlands.svg  Netherlands 25 June 19731 August 197521 November 1990
Flag of North Macedonia.svg  North Macedonia [Note 3] [10] 12 October 19958 July 1992 
Flag of Norway.svg  Norway 25 June 19731 August 197521 November 1990
Flag of Poland.svg  Poland 25 June 19731 August 197521 November 1990
Flag of Portugal.svg  Portugal 25 June 19731 August 197521 November 1990
Flag of Romania.svg  Romania 25 June 19731 August 197521 November 1990
Flag of Russia.svg  Russia (as Flag of the Soviet Union.svg  Soviet Union)25 June 19731 August 197521 November 1990
Flag of San Marino.svg  San Marino 25 June 19731 August 197521 November 1990
Flag of Serbia.svg  Serbia (as Flag of Serbia and Montenegro (1992-2006).svg  Yugoslavia)10 November 200027 November 2000[ citation needed ]27 November 2000[ citation needed ]
Flag of Slovakia.svg  Slovakia 1 January 1993  [Note 1]   [Note 1]
Flag of Slovenia.svg  Slovenia 24 March 19928 July 19928 March 1993
Flag of Spain.svg  Spain 25 June 19731 August 197521 November 1990
Flag of Sweden.svg  Sweden 25 June 19731 August 197521 November 1990
Flag of Switzerland.svg   Switzerland 25 June 19731 August 197521 November 1990
Flag of Tajikistan.svg  Tajikistan 30 January 199226 February 1992 
Flag of Turkey.svg  Turkey 25 June 19731 August 197521 November 1990
Flag of Turkmenistan.svg  Turkmenistan 30 January 19928 July 1992 
Flag of Ukraine.svg  Ukraine 30 January 199226 February 199216 June 1992
Flag of the United Kingdom.svg  United Kingdom 25 June 19731 August 197521 November 1990
Flag of the United States.svg  United States 25 June 19731 August 197521 November 1990
Flag of Uzbekistan.svg  Uzbekistan 30 January 199226 February 199227 October 1993
  1. 1 2 3 4 Czechoslovakia was an original signatory
  2. Asia partner for co-operation 2004-2012.
  3. Previously referred to by the OSCE as the "Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia"

Partners for co-operation

Asia

Oceania

A unique aspect of the OSCE is the non-binding status of its constitutive charter. Rather than being a formal treaty ratified by national legislatures, the Helsinki Final Act represents a political commitment by the heads of government of all signatories to build security and cooperation in Europe on the basis of its provisions. This allows the OSCE to remain a flexible process for the evolution of improved cooperation, which avoids disputes and/or sanctions over implementation. By agreeing to these commitments, signatories for the first time accepted that treatment of citizens within their borders was also a matter of legitimate international concern. This open process of the OSCE is often given credit for helping build democracy in the Soviet Union and Eastern Europe, thus leading to the end of the Cold War[ citation needed ]. Unlike most international intergovernmental organizations, however, the OSCE does not have international legal personality on account of the lack of legal effect of its charter. [12] As a result, its headquarters' host, Austria, had to confer legal personality on the organization in order to be able to sign a legal agreement regarding its presence in Vienna.

Structure and institutions

Political direction to the organization is given by heads of state or government during summits. Summits are not regular or scheduled but held as needed. The last summit took place in Astana (Kazakhstan), on 1 and 2 December 2010. The high-level decision-making body of the organization is the Ministerial Council, which meets at the end of every year. At ambassadorial level the Permanent Council convenes weekly in Vienna and serves as the regular negotiating and decision-making body. The chairperson of the Permanent Council is the ambassador to the Organization of the participating State which holds the chairmanship.

In addition to the Ministerial Council and Permanent Council, the Forum for Security Co-operation is also an OSCE decision-making body. It deals predominantly with matters of military co-operation, such as modalities for inspections according to the Vienna Document of 1999. [13]

The OSCE's Secretariat is located in Vienna, Austria. The organization also has offices in Copenhagen, Geneva, The Hague, Prague and Warsaw.

A meeting of the OSCE Permanent Council at the Hofburg in Vienna, Austria. OSCE-Permanent Council.JPG
A meeting of the OSCE Permanent Council at the Hofburg in Vienna, Austria.

As of March 2016, the OSCE employed 3,462 staff, including 513 in its secretariat and institutions and 2,949 in its 17 field operations. [14]

The Parliamentary Assembly of the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe is made up of 323 parliamentarians from 57 member states. The Parliamentary Assembly performs its functions mainly via the Standing Committee, the Bureau, and 3 General Committees (Committee on Political Affairs and Security, Committee on Economic Affairs, Science, Technology and Environment, and Committee on Democracy, Human Rights and Humanitarian Questions). [15] The Parliamentary Assembly passes resolutions on matters such as political and security affairs, economic and environmental issues, and democracy and human rights. Representing the collective voice of OSCE parliamentarians, these resolutions and recommendations are meant to ensure that all participating states live up to their OSCE commitments. The Parliamentary Assembly also engages in parliamentary diplomacy, and has an extensive election observation program.

Mlodziejowski Palace in Warsaw, the seat of the ODIHR Warszawa, Palac Mlodziejowskiego - fotopolska.eu (340481).jpg
Młodziejowski Palace in Warsaw, the seat of the ODIHR

The oldest OSCE institution is the Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights (ODIHR), established in 1991 following a decision made at the 1990 Summit of Paris. It is based in Warsaw, Poland, and is active throughout the OSCE area in the fields of election observation, democratic development, human rights, tolerance and non-discrimination, rule of law, and Roma and Sinti issues. The ODIHR has observed over 300 elections and referendums since 1995, sending more than 50,000 observers. It has operated outside its own area twice, sending a team that offered technical support to the 9 October 2004 presidential elections in Afghanistan, an OSCE Partner for Co-operation, and an election support team to assist with parliamentary and provincial council elections on 18 September 2005. ODIHR is headed by Matteo Mecacci, Italy.

The Office of the OSCE Representative on Freedom of the Media, established in December 1997, acts as a watchdog to provide early warning on violations of freedom of expression in OSCE participating States. The representative also assists participating States by advocating and promoting full compliance with OSCE norms, principles and commitments regarding freedom of expression and free media. As of 2020, the current representative is Teresa Ribeiro, Portugal.

The High Commissioner on National Minorities was created on 8 July 1992 by the Helsinki Summit Meeting of the Conference on Security and Cooperation in Europe. It is charged with identifying and seeking early resolution of ethnic tension that might endanger peace, stability or friendly relations between participating states. The first non-European served as the high commissioner in 2020. [16]

Each year the OSCE holds an OSCE Asian Conference with partner nations (currently Australia, Thailand, South Korea, Japan and Afghanistan). [17]

List

Field operations

Almost all field operations of OSCE have been conducted in countries of former Yugoslavia and the Soviet Union.

Discontinued

Active

Chairmanship

OSCE Permanent Council venue at the Hofburg, Vienna. Hofburg OSCE.JPG
OSCE Permanent Council venue at the Hofburg, Vienna.

The OSCE chairmanship is assumed at yearly intervals by one participating State, which then plays the central role in managing the organization's work and in its external representation. The foreign minister of the country holding the chair holds the OSCE's most senior position as "Chairperson-in-Office (CiO)."

The responsibilities of the Chairperson-in-Office (CiO) include

CiO nominates Personal Representatives - experts in fields of priority for the CiO. [18]

OSCE Chair for 2021 is Sweden, [19] represented by Ann Linde as Chairperson-in-Office. [20]

The CiO is assisted by the previous and incoming chairpersons-in-office; the three of them together constitute the OSCE Troika. [21] The origin of the institution lies with the Charter of Paris for a New Europe (1990), the Helsinki Document 1992 formally institutionalized this function. [22]

Secretary General

While the Chairperson-in-Office is the OSCE's most senior official, on a day-to-day basis the Secretary General is the OSCE's chief administrative officer and can, when requested by the Chairmanship, serve as a representative of the Chairperson-in-Office. Since the establishment of the office in 1992, Secretary Generals have been:

  1. Flag of Germany.svg Wilhelm Höynck  [ de ] (1993–1996)
  2. Flag of Italy.svg Giancarlo Aragona (1996–1999)
  3. Flag of Slovakia.svg Ján Kubiš (1999–2005)
  4. Flag of France.svg Marc Perrin de Brichambaut (2005–2011)
  5. Flag of Italy.svg Lamberto Zannier (2011–2017)
  6. Flag of Switzerland.svg Thomas Greminger (2017–2020)
  7. Flag of Germany.svg Helga Schmid (2020–)

Summits of heads of state and government

SummitDateLocationCountryDecisions
I30 July – 1 August 1975HelsinkiFlag of Finland.svg  Finland Closing of the Conference on Security and Cooperation in Europe (CSCE). Signing of the Final Act (Helsinki Act).
II19–21 November 1990ParisFlag of France.svg  France (Second CSCE Summit). Signing of the Charter of Paris for a New Europe (Paris Charter), the Vienna Confidence and Security Building Measures (CSBM) Document and the CFE Treaty.
III9–10 July 1992HelsinkiFlag of Finland.svg  Finland Final Document: The Challenges of Change. Creation of the High Commissioner on National Minorities, the Forum for Security Co-operation and the Economic Forum. Suspension of FR Yugoslavia from membership.
IV5–6 December 1994BudapestFlag of Hungary.svg  Hungary Final Document: Towards a Genuine Partnership in a New Era. Approval of a multi-national peace-keeping force to Nagorno-Karabakh. Endorsement of the Code of Conduct on politico-military aspects of security.
V2–3 December 1996LisbonFlag of Portugal.svg  Portugal (First OSCE Summit). Lisbon Declaration on a Common and Comprehensive Security Model for Europe for the Twenty-First Century. Adoption of a Framework for Arms Control.
VI18–19 November 1999IstanbulFlag of Turkey.svg  Turkey Signing of the Istanbul Document and the Charter for European Security.
VII1–2 December 2010AstanaFlag of Kazakhstan.svg  Kazakhstan Adoption of the Astana Commemorative Declaration, which reconfirms the Organization's comprehensive approach to security based on trust and transparency.

Ministerial Council Meetings (ordinary)

CouncilDateLocationCountryDecisions
1st19–20 June 1991BerlinFlag of Germany.svg  Germany Admission of Albania
2nd30–31 January 1992PragueFlag of the Czech Republic.svg  Czechoslovakia Admission of ten former Soviet republics.
3rd14–15 December 1992StockholmFlag of Sweden.svg  Sweden Creation of the post of Secretary General and appointment of Max van der Stoel as first High Commissioner on National Minorities.
4th30 November – 1 December 1993RomeFlag of Italy.svg  Italy Establishment of the Mission to Tajikistan.
5th7–8 December 1995BudapestFlag of Hungary.svg  Hungary Establishment of the Mission in Bosnia and Herzegovina to carry out the tasks assigned to the OSCE in the Dayton Peace Agreements.
6th18–19 December 1997CopenhagenFlag of Denmark.svg  Denmark Creation of the Co-ordinator of OSCE Economic and Environmental Activities and the Representative on Freedom of the Media.
7th2–3 December 1998OsloFlag of Norway.svg  Norway
8th27–28 November 2000ViennaFlag of Austria.svg  Austria Vienna Declaration on the OSCE's activities in South-Eastern Europe. Re-admission of FR Yugoslavia.Teija Egan Evans
9th3–4 December 2001BucharestFlag of Romania.svg  Romania Bucharest Declaration. Bucharest Plan of Action for Combating Terrorism. Creation of the Strategic Police Matters Unit and a Senior Police Adviser in the OSCE Secretariat.
10th6–7 December 2002PortoFlag of Portugal.svg  Portugal Porto Declaration: Responding to Change. OSCE Charter on Preventing and Combating Terrorism.
11th1–2 December 2003MaastrichtFlag of the Netherlands.svg  Netherlands Strategy to Address Threats to Security and Stability in the Twenty-First Century. Strategy Document for the Economic and Environmental Dimension.
12th6–7 December 2004SofiaFlag of Bulgaria.svg  Bulgaria
13th5–6 December 2005LjubljanaFlag of Slovenia.svg  Slovenia Statement on the International Convention for the Suppression of Acts of Nuclear Terrorism. Approval of the Border Security and Management Concept.
14th4–5 December 2006BrusselsFlag of Belgium (civil).svg  Belgium Brussels Declaration on Criminal Justice Systems. Ministerial Statement on Supporting and Promoting the International Legal Framework against Terrorism.
15th29–30 November 2007MadridFlag of Spain.svg  Spain Madrid Declaration on Environment and Security. Ministerial Statement on Supporting the United Nations Global Counter-Terrorism Strategy.
16th4–5 December 2008HelsinkiFlag of Finland.svg  Finland
17th1–2 December 2009AthensFlag of Greece.svg  Greece Ministerial Declarations on Non-Proliferation and on the OSCE Corfu Process.
16–17 July 2010AlmatyFlag of Kazakhstan.svg  Kazakhstan Informal discussions on Corfu Process progress, the situation in Kyrgyzstan and the forthcoming OSCE summit.
18th6–7 December 2011VilniusFlag of Lithuania.svg  Lithuania Decisions on responses to conflicts and transnational threats; to enhance capabilities in early warning; early action; dialogue facilitation and mediation support; and post-conflict rehabilitation. Decisions to enhance engagement with OSCE Partners for Co-operation, Afghanistan in particular.
19th6–7 December 2012DublinFlag of Ireland.svg  Ireland Helsinki+40 Process: clear path to the 2015 40th anniversary of the Helsinki Final Act, intent to reinforce and revitalize the OSCE; unanimous support for Transdniestrian settlement process: negotiated, comprehensive, just and viable solution to the conflict; strengthening good governance: deepening engagement in preventing and countering corruption, addressing transnational threats, and adding an anti-terrorism framework to earlier decisions on threats from information and communication technologies, drugs and chemical precursors and strategic policing; despite Ireland's hopes, a decision on human rights was not reached: greater, still, was concern for the council's trend of human rights decision-failures. [23]
20th5–6 December 2013KievFlag of Ukraine.svg  Ukraine Decision on the combating trafficking in human beings. Decision on the freedom of thought, conscience, religion or belief. Ministerial Declaration on Strengthening the OSCE's Efforts to Address Transnational Threats. Decision on the Extension of the Mandate of the OSCE Representative on Freedom of the Media. Decision on the time and place of the next meeting of the OSCE Ministerial Council. Decision on the improving the environmental footprint of energy-related activities in the OSCE region. Ministerial Declaration on the Update of the OSCE Principles Governing Non-Proliferation. Decision on the enhancing OSCE efforts to implement the Action Plan on Improving the Situation of Roma and Sinti Within the OSCE Area, With a Particular Focus on Roma and Sinti Women, Youth and Children. Ministerial Statement on the Work of the Permanent Conference on Political Issues in the Framework of the Negotiation Process for the Transdniestrian Settlement in the "5+2" Format. Decision on the appointment of the OSCE High Commissioner on National Minorities. Declaration on Furthering the Helsinki+40 Process. Decision on the small arms and light weapons and stockpiles of conventional ammunition. Decision on the protection of energy networks from natural and man-made disasters.
21st4–5 December 2014BaselFlag of Switzerland.svg   Switzerland Declaration on further steps in the Helsinki+40 Process. Ministerial statement on the negotiations on the Transdniestrian Settlement Process in the "5+2"format. Declaration on youth. Declaration on the Transfer of Ownership to the Parties to the Agreement on Sub-regional Arms Control, Annex 1B, Article IV of the General Framework Agreement for Peace in Bosnia and Herzegovina. Declaration on the OSCE role in countering the phenomenon of foreign terrorist fighters in the context of the implementation of UN Security Council resolutions 2170 (2014) and 2178 (2014). Declaration on the OSCE role in countering kidnapping and hostage-taking committed by terrorist groups in the context of the implementation of the UN Security Council resolution 2133 (2014). Decision on the prevention of corruption. Decision on enhancing disaster risk reductionDecision on preventing and combating violence against women. Decision on an addendum to the 2004 OSCE Action Plan for the Promotion of Gender Equality. Ministerial commemorative declaration on the seventieth anniversary of the end of the Second World War. Declaration on enhancing efforts to combat anti-Semitism. Declaration on co-operation with the Mediterranean Partners. Ministerial declaration on co-operation with the Asian Partners. Decision on small arms and light weapons and stockpiles of conventional ammunition. Commemorative Declaration on the Occasion of the Twentieth Anniversary of the OSCE Code of Conduct on Politico-Military Aspects of Security.
22nd3–4 December 2015BelgradeFlag of Serbia.svg  Serbia Ministerial Declaration on Preventing and Countering Violent Extremism and Radicalization that lead to Terrorism. Declaration on the OSCE Activities in Support of Global Efforts in Tackling the World Drug Problem. Ministerial Declaration on Reinforcing OSCE Efforts to Counter Terrorism in the Wake of Recent Terrorist Attacks. Declaration on Youth and Security. Ministerial Statement on the Negotiations on the Transdniestrian Settlement Process in the "5+2" Format.
23st8–9 December 2016HamburgFlag of Germany.svg  Germany Decision on the OSCE's role in the governance of large movements of migrants and refugees. Decision on strengthening good governance and promoting connectivity. Decision on OSCE efforts related to reducing the risks of conflict stemming from the use of information and communication technologies. Declaration on strengthening OSCE efforts to prevent and counter terrorism. Decision on enhancing the use of Advance Passenger Information. Ministerial statement on the negotiations on the Transdniestrian Settlement Process in the "5+2"format.
24th7–8 December 2017ViennaFlag of Austria.svg  Austria Decision on enhancing OSCE efforts to reduce the risk of conflict stemming from the use of information and communication technologies. Decision on strengthening efforts to prevent trafficking in human beings. Decision on strengthening efforts to combat all forms of child trafficking, including for sexual exploitation, as well as other forms of sexual exploitation of children. Decision on promoting economic participation in the OSCE area. Decision on small arms and light weapons and stockpiles of conventional ammunition. Ministerial Statement on the negotiations on the Transdniestrian settlement process in the "5+2" format. Decisions on the appointment of the OSCE High Commissioner on National Minorities, the Representative on Freedom of the Media, the Director of the Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights, and the Secretary General.
25th6–7 December 2018MilanFlag of Italy.svg  Italy Decision on the OSCE Chairmanship in the Year 2020. Decision on the Time and Place of the Next Meeting of the OSCE Ministerial Council. Decision on Safety of Journalists. Decision on Preventing and Combating Violence Against Women. Decision on Human Capital Development in the Digital Era. Ministerial Statement on the Negotiations on the Transdniestrian Settlement Process in the "5+2" Format. Declaration on the Digital Economy a Driver for Promoting Co-operation, Security and Growth. Declaration on the Role of Youth in Contribution to Peace and Security Efforts. Declaration on Security and Co-operation in the Mediterranean. Declaration on OSCE Efforts in the Field of Norms and Best Practices on Small Arms and Light Weapons and Stockpiles of Conventional Ammunition.
26th5–6 December 2019BratislavaFlag of Slovakia.svg  Slovakia Decision on the OSCE Chairmanship in the Years 2021 and 2022. Decision on Renaming the Contact Group with the Asian Partners for Co-operation and the Contact Group with the Mediterranean Partners for Co-operation. Decision on Time and Place of the Next Meeting of the OSCE Ministerial Council. Commemorative Declaration on the Occasion of the 25th Anniversary of the OSCE Code of Conduct on Politico-Military Aspects of Security. Ministerial Statement on the Negotiations on the Transdniestrian Settlement Process in the "5+2" Format. Document No.2, Commemorative. Declaration on the Occasion of the Twenty-Fifth Anniversary of the OSCE Principles Governing Non-Proliferation and Fifteenth Anniversary of United Nations Security Council Resolution 1540.
27th3–4 December 2020TiranaFlag of Albania.svg  Albania Decision on the appointment of the OSCE Secretary General. Decision on the appointment of the Director of the Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights. Decision on the appointment of the OSCE High Commissioner on National Minorities. Decision on the appointment of the OSCE Representative on Freedom of the Media. Decision on the OSCE Chairmanship in the year 2023. Decision on Preventing and Combating Corruption through Digitalization and Increased Transparency. Decision on Prevention and Eradication of Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment. Decision on the Time and Place of the Next Meeting of the OSCE Ministerial Council. Declaration on Strengthening Co-operation in Countering Transnational Organized Crime. Declaration on Co-operation With the OSCE Asian Partners. Ministerial Statement on the Negotiations on the Transdniestrian Settlement Process in the "5+2" Format.
28th2–3 December 2021StockholmFlag of Sweden.svg  Sweden

Chairmanship history

Chairmanship of the OSCE is held by a member state on a calendar-year basis, with the minister for foreign affairs of that state performing the function of Chairperson-in-Office. The table below shows the holders since 1991. [24]

YearCountryChairperson-in-Office
1991Flag of Germany.svg  Germany Hans-Dietrich Genscher (from June)
1992Flag of the Czech Republic.svg  Czechoslovakia Jiří Dienstbier (until 2 July); Jozef Moravčík (from 3 July)
1993Flag of Sweden.svg  Sweden Margaretha af Ugglas
1994Flag of Italy.svg  Italy Beniamino Andreatta (until 11 May); Antonio Martino (from 12 May)
1995Flag of Hungary.svg  Hungary László Kovács
1996Flag of Switzerland.svg   Switzerland Flavio Cotti
1997Flag of Denmark.svg  Denmark Niels Helveg Petersen
1998Flag of Poland.svg  Poland Bronisław Geremek
1999Flag of Norway.svg  Norway Knut Vollebæk
2000Flag of Austria.svg  Austria Wolfgang Schüssel (until 4 February); Benita Ferrero-Waldner (from 5 February)
2001Flag of Romania.svg  Romania Mircea Geoană
2002Flag of Portugal.svg  Portugal Jaime Gama (until 6 April); António Martins da Cruz (from 7 April)
2003Flag of the Netherlands.svg  Netherlands Jaap de Hoop Scheffer (until 3 December); Bernard Bot (from 4 December)
2004Flag of Bulgaria.svg  Bulgaria Solomon Passy
2005Flag of Slovenia.svg  Slovenia Dimitrij Rupel
2006Flag of Belgium (civil).svg  Belgium Karel De Gucht
2007Flag of Spain.svg  Spain Miguel Ángel Moratinos
2008Flag of Finland.svg  Finland Ilkka Kanerva (until 4 April); Alexander Stubb (from 5 April)
2009Flag of Greece.svg  Greece Dora Bakoyannis (until 5 October); George Papandreou (from 6 October)
2010Flag of Kazakhstan.svg  Kazakhstan Kanat Saudabayev
2011Flag of Lithuania.svg  Lithuania Audronius Ažubalis
2012Flag of Ireland.svg  Ireland Eamon Gilmore
2013Flag of Ukraine.svg  Ukraine Leonid Kozhara
2014Flag of Switzerland.svg   Switzerland Didier Burkhalter
2015Flag of Serbia.svg  Serbia Ivica Dačić
2016Flag of Germany.svg  Germany Frank-Walter Steinmeier
2017Flag of Austria.svg  Austria Sebastian Kurz (until 18 December); Karin Kneissl (from 18 December)
2018Flag of Italy.svg  Italy Angelino Alfano (until 1 June); Enzo Moavero Milanesi (from 1 June)
2019Flag of Slovakia.svg  Slovakia Miroslav Lajčák
2020Flag of Albania.svg  Albania Edi Rama
2021Flag of Sweden.svg  Sweden Ann Linde
2022Flag of Poland.svg  Poland
2023Flag of North Macedonia.svg  North Macedonia

Fiscal history

Since 1993, the OSCE's budget by year (in millions of euro,) has been:

  • 2019 ... €138.2 million [25]
  • 2018 ... €137.8 million
  • 2017 ... €139.0 million
  • 2016 ... €141.1 million
  • 2015 ... €141.1 million
  • 2014 ... €142.3 million
  • 2013 ... €144.8 million
  • 2012 ... €148.4 million
  • 2011 ... €150.0 million
  • 2010 ... €150.7 million
  • 2009 ... €158.6 million
  • 2008 ... €164.1 million
  • 2007 ... €186.2 million
  • 2006 ... €186.2 million
  • 2005 ... €186.6 million
  • 2004 ... €180.8 million
  • 2003 ... €165.5 million
  • 2002 ... €167.5 million
  • 2001 ... €194.5 million
  • 2000 ... €202.7 million
  • 1999 ... €146.1 million
  • 1998 ... €118.7 million
  • 1997 ... €43.3 million
  • 1996 ... €34.9 million
  • 1995 ... €18.9 million
  • 1994 ... €21 million
  • 1993 ... €12 million

Relations with the United Nations

The OSCE considers itself a regional organization in the sense of Chapter VIII of the United Nations Charter [26] and is an observer in the United Nations General Assembly. [27] The Chairperson-in-Office gives routine briefings to the United Nations Security Council. [28]

The three dimensions

Politico-military dimension (first dimension)

The OSCE takes a comprehensive approach to the politico-military dimension of security, which includes a number of commitments by participating States and mechanisms for conflict prevention and resolution. The organization also seeks to enhance military security by promoting greater openness, transparency and co-operation.

Arms control [29]

The end of the Cold War resulted in a huge amount of surplus weapons becoming available in what is known as the international grey market for weapons. The OSCE helps to stop the - often illegal - spread of such weapons and offers assistance with their destruction. The OSCE hosts the annual exchange of information under the Conventional Forces in Europe treaty. The OSCE has also implemented two additional exchanges of information, the Vienna Document and the Global Exchange of Military Information. The Open Skies Consultative Commission, the implementing body for the Treaty on Open Skies, meets monthly at its Vienna headquarters. [30]

Border management [31]

The actions taken by the OSCE in border monitoring range from conflict prevention to post-conflict management, capacity building and institutional support.

Combating terrorism [32]

With its expertise in conflict prevention, crisis management and early warning, the OSCE contributes to worldwide efforts in combating terrorism.

Conflict prevention [33] [34]

The OSCE works to prevent conflicts from arising and to facilitate lasting comprehensive political settlements for existing conflicts. It also helps with the process of rehabilitation in post-conflict areas.

Military reform

The OSCE's Forum for Security Co-operation provides a framework for political dialogue on military reform, while practical activities are conducted by field operations, as well as the Conflict Prevention Centre.

Policing

OSCE police operations are an integral part of the organization's efforts in conflict prevention and post-conflict rehabilitation.

Implementation

The OSCE was a rather small organization until selection by the international community to provide electoral organization to post war Bosnia and Herzegovina in early 1996. Ambassador Frowick was the first OSCE representative to initiate national election in September 1996, human rights issues and rule of law specifically designed to provide a foundation for judicial organization within Bosnia and Herzegovina.

The OSCE had regional offices and field offices, to include the office in Brcko in northeastern Bosnia and Herzegovina which remained in limbo until the Brcko Arbitration Agreement could be decided, finalized and implemented.

Brcko become a "special district" and remains so today.

The OSCE essentially took the place of the United Nations in Bosnia and Herzegovina in part because the Bosnian leadership felt deep contempt for the UN efforts to stop the war which began in 1991 and ended in 1995. During the time the United Nations were attempting a political solution, thousands of UN troops were posted in and around Bosnia and Herzegovina with special emphasis on Sarajevo. From 1991 to 1995, over 200,000 Bosnians were killed and over one million displaced and another million as refugees.[ citation needed ]

The OSCE continues to have a presence and a number of initiatives to bring a sustained peace to the region.

Economic and environmental dimension (second dimension)

Activities in the economic and environmental dimension include the monitoring of developments related to economic and environmental security in OSCE participating States, with the aim of alerting them to any threat of conflict; assisting States in the creation of economic and environmental policies, legislation and institutions to promote security in the OSCE region.

Economic activities

Among the economic activities of the OSCE feature activities related to migration management, transport and energy security. Most activities are implemented in co-operation with partner organizations.

Environmental activities

The OSCE has developed a range of activities in the environmental sphere aimed at addressing ecologic threats to security in its participating States. Among the activities feature projects in the area of hazardous waste, water management and access to information under the Aarhus Convention.

Human dimension (third dimension)

The commitments made by OSCE participating States in the human dimension aim to ensure full respect for human rights and fundamental freedoms; to abide by the rule of law; to promote the principles of democracy by building, strengthening and protecting democratic institutions; and to promote tolerance throughout the OSCE region.

Combating trafficking in human beings

Since 2003 the OSCE [35] has had an established mechanism for combating trafficking in human beings, as defined by Article 3 of the Palermo Protocol, [36] which is aimed at raising public awareness of the problem and building the political will within participating states to tackle it effectively.

The OSCE actions against trafficking in human beings are coordinated by the Office of the Special Representative and Co-ordinator for Combating Trafficking in Human Beings. [35] Maria Grazia Giammarinaro, [37] a judge in the Criminal Court of Rome, took Office as the Special Representative in March 2010. From 2006 to 2009 this Office was held by Eva Biaudet, a former Finnish Minister of Health and Social Services. Biaudet currently serves as Finnish Ombudsman for Minorities. Her predecessor was former Austrian Minister Helga Konrad, who served as the first OSCE Special Representative for Combating Trafficking in Human Beings.

The activities around Combating Trafficking in Human Beings in the OSCE Region of the Office of the Special Representative include: [38]

Democratization

The OSCE claims to promote democracy and assist the participating states in building democratic institutions.

Education

Education programmes are an integral part of the organization's efforts in conflict prevention and post-conflict rehabilitation.

Elections

As part of its democratization activities, the OSCE carries out election assistance projects in the run-up to, during, and following elections. However, the effectiveness of such assistance is arguable—Kazakhstan, for example, despite being the former chair of the OSCE, is considered by many to be one of the least democratic countries in the world. Moreover, the recent democratic advances made in other Central Asian republics, notably Kyrgyzstan, have led to rumours of Soviet-style disruption of the Kyrgyz democratic process by, in particular, Kazakhstan and Russia. This may be in large part due to fears over the long-term stability of these countries' own quasi-dictatorships.

Gender equality

The equality of men and women is an integral part of sustainable democracy. The OSCE aims to provide equal opportunities for men and women and to integrate gender equality in policies and practices.

Human rights

The OSCE's human rights activities focus on such priorities as freedom of movement and religion, preventing torture and trafficking in persons.

National and international NGOs

OSCE could grant consultive status to NGOs and INGOs in the form of "Researcher-in-residence programme" (run by the Prague Office of the OSCE Secretariat): accredited representatives of national and international NGOs are granted access to all records and to numerous topical compilations related to OSCE field activities.

Media freedom

The OSCE observes relevant media developments in its participating states with a view to addressing and providing early warning on violations of freedom of expression.

Minority rights

Ethnic conflict is one of the main sources of large-scale violence in Europe today. The OSCE's approach is to identify and to seek early resolution of ethnic tensions, and to set standards for the rights of persons belonging to minority groups and High Commissioner on National Minorities has been established.

OSCE Democracy Defender Award

The Democracy Defender Award honors a person or group for contributions to the promotion of democracy and the defense of human rights "in the spirit of Helsinki Final Act and other OSCE principles and commitments." The award was established in 2016 on the initiative of Ambassadors of 8 countries, and supported by the delegations of the 18 countries of the OSCE (22 countries in 2017). [39] [40]

YearRecipientNationalityNotesReference
2020 Viasna Human Rights Centre Flag of Belarus.svg  Belarus Belarusian organisation established in 1996 which advocates for the rights of political prisoners in Belarus and against the government of Alexander Lukashenko. [41]
2019 UIC Flag of Armenia.svg  Armenia Armenian organisation which intends to raise public awareness on important issues and reduce the impact of misinformation on decision-making. [42]
2018 CRTA Flag of Serbia.svg  Serbia Serbian organisation established in 2002 to improve the democratic culture, the rule of law and the freedom of the Media [43] [44]
2017 Golos Flag of Russia.svg  Russia Russian organisation established in 2000 to protect the electoral rights of citizens and to foster civil society [39]
2016Oleksandra MatviychukFlag of Ukraine.svg  Ukraine Ukrainian activist, coordinator of Euromaidan SOS and leader of Civil Rights Center [45]

Criticism

Following an unprecedented period of activity in the 1990s and early 2000s (decade), the OSCE has in the past few years faced accusations from the CIS states (primarily[ citation needed ] Russia) of being a tool for the Western states to advance their own interests. For instance, the events in Ukraine in 2004 (the "Orange Revolution") led to allegations by Russia of OSCE involvement on behalf of the pro-Western Viktor Yushchenko. At the 2007 Munich Conference on Security Policy, Vladimir Putin made this position very clear:

"They [unnamed Western States] are trying to transform the OSCE into a vulgar instrument designed to promote the foreign policy interests of one or a group of countries. And this task is also being accomplished by the OSCE's bureaucratic apparatus, which is absolutely not connected with the state founders in any way. Decision-making procedures and the involvement of so-called non-governmental organizations are tailored for this task. These organizations are formally independent but they are purposefully financed and therefore under control". [46] [47] [48] [49]

Russia and its allies are advancing the concept of a comprehensive OSCE reform, which would make the Secretariat, institutions and field presences more centralized and accountable to collective consensus-based bodies and focus the work of the Organization on topical security issues (human trafficking, terrorism, non-proliferation, arms control, etc.), at the expense of the "Human Dimension", or human rights issues. The move to reduce the autonomy of the theoretically independent OSCE institutions, such as ODIHR, would effectively grant a Russian veto over any OSCE activity. Western participating States are opposing this process, which they see as an attempt to prevent the OSCE from carrying out its democratization agenda in post-Soviet countries.[ citation needed ]

Following the 2008 U.S. presidential election, OSCE's ODIHR was accused of having double standards by Russia's lawmaker Slutsky. The point was made that while numerous violations of the voting process were registered, its criticism came only from within the United States (media, human rights organizations, McCain's election staff), while the OSCE known for its bashing criticism of elections on the post-Soviet space remained silent. [50] [51]

OSCE Parliamentary Assembly

In 2004, the OSCE Parliamentary Assembly sent election observers to the U.S. presidential elections. The OSCE Parliamentary Assembly's president at the time was Democratic Congressman Alcee Hastings. Hastings had previously been impeached for corruption by the U.S. Congress. The OSCE faced criticism of partisanship and double standards due to Hastings's past and the fact that the OSCE's mandate was to promote democracy and the values of civil society. [52]

In 2010, the Parliamentary Assembly of the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe was criticized from within by the Latvian delegation for lacking transparency and democracy. Spencer Oliver (b. 1938) secretary general of the OSCE Parliamentary Assembly, who has held the post since the organization's inception in 1992, faced a challenge from the Latvian Artis Pabriks. According to the rules of the OSCE Parliamentary Assembly the incumbent general secretary can only be replaced with a full consensus minus one. Pabriks called the rules "quite shocking from the perspective of an organization that's monitoring elections". [53]

2012 Texas controversy

Before the U.S. presidential elections of November 2012, the OSCE announced its intention to send electoral observers to Texas and to other U.S. states. This prompted the Attorney General of Texas Greg Abbott to send letters to U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and to the OSCE, [54] threatening to arrest OSCE officials if they should enter electoral premises in Texas and break Texas law. [55] In reply, the U.S. Department of State stated that OSCE observers enjoyed immunities. [56] In the event, no incidents between OSCE and Texas authorities were recorded during the elections.

War in Donbass

OSCE SMM monitoring the movement of heavy weaponry in eastern Ukraine OSCE SMM monitoring the movement of heavy weaponry in eastern Ukraine (16524364807).jpg
OSCE SMM monitoring the movement of heavy weaponry in eastern Ukraine

On 21 March 2014, OSCE deployed its Special Monitoring Mission to Ukraine on a request of Ukraine's government. [57]

On 27 April 2014, eight members of the OSCE Special Monitoring Mission (OSCE SMM) were taken hostage by the Girkin group that took over the power in the city of Slovyansk (Slavyansk). [58] The group appointed Vyacheslav Ponomarev a mayor of the city.

Both sides to the conflict have regularly accused the OSCE mission of bias towards the other side. During the War in Donbass, an OSCE observer allowed Russian separatists to use the organization's marked vehicle, which prompted allegations that the OSCE was biased in the war and not interested in carrying out its duties of mediating a ceasefire. The organization issued a statement regretting the incident. [59]

The agreement called for a creation of a 40 km buffer zone, but upon Ukrainian forces withdrawing from their 20 km portion of the buffer, Russian separatists are said to have simply occupied the abandoned territory without withdrawing from their own 20 km buffer.[ citation needed ]

Moreover, the OSCE Observer Mission at Russian Checkpoints Gukovo and Donetsk (which is organizationally separate from the Special Monitoring Mission) also received criticism alleging that only 2 checkpoints on the Russian–Ukrainian border are currently being monitored, which has been described as "seriously inadequate" by Daniel Baer, the US ambassador to the OSCE at the time. [ citation needed ]

On the other hand, Ukraine has faced criticism following a BBC report showing an alleged violation of the Minsk agreement when Ukraine stationed tanks in the residential neighborhood Avdeevka. [60] The mission has also been criticized for waiting months to deploy drones to help monitor the border as well as withdrawing them after only several weeks of use due to Russian electronic attacks. Drones have been reintroduced to observe the conflict only in 2018. [61]

In 2014, an advisor to the Ukrainian Ministry of defence wrongly claimed that approximately 80% of the OSCE observers located near Mariupol were Russian citizens and many had ties to Russian security agencies such as the FSB and GRU. In reality, one observer out of 17 in Mariupol was a Russian citizen. [62] In total, the mission reports the number of Russian citizens in its ranks as 39 out of 720 or 5,4%. [63] The organization has also been accused of allegedly revealing the locations of Ukrainian troops to Russian forces during the conflict and that Russian OSCE observers may be directly coordinating separatist artillery strikes on Ukrainian positions. [64] [65] [66] [67] [68]

On 1 December 2014, Ukrainian Media reported that an OSCE observer was injured by Ukrainian counter artillery fire while observing militants firing at Ukrainian forces. The OSCE team was accused of beeign located next to two pro-Russian mortar teams. The report stated that the OSCE team did not radio in or record the Russian mortar team firing on Ukrainian positions. The report critizised that this constituted unorthodox behavior and that the incident showed that the OSCE team was not acting in an impartial manner. [69] The report provided by the OSCE on that day in contrast states that the mission was in the area to "facilitate a local ceasefire and monitor the repair works on a power station" that it "heard an exchange of artillery fire between unspecified parties" and that "artillery rounds were impacting at approximately 1km to the east of the SMM’s position; therefore the SMM left due to security concerns." Furthermore the report states that the "SMM team in the JCCC was in constant contact with the SMM team in Staromikhailivka". No mention of a wounded observer is made. [70]

On 27 October 2015, a suspended OSCE monitor confirmed he was a former employee of Russia's Main Intelligence Directorate. The suspended SMM stated he had no trouble receiving the position and neither the OSCE nor Ukraine's Security Service thoroughly checked his background. [71] Following the report the OSCE issued a comment stating the monitor has been fired due to violations of the organization's code of conduct. [72] On 6 April 2016 photos of OSCE monitors attending the wedding of a Russian separatist were found. The wedding was hosted in June 2015. The OSCE expressed regret over the incident, issuing a statement saying "The unprofessional behavior displayed by the monitors in the picture is an individual incident that should not be abused to cast a shadow on the reputation of other mission members." The OSCE reported that the monitors were no longer with the OSCE special monitoring mission. [73]

In April 2017, an OSCE vehicle struck a mine, killing one member and injuring two. [74] Two armoured vehicles were on patrol was near Luhansk when one struck the mine. [75] The dead man was an American paramedic, while the injured included a woman from Germany and a man from the Czech Republic. [75]

On 18 July 2018, it was revealed that Russian intelligence services received inside information about the activities of the OSCE Special Monitoring Mission to Ukraine from a staff member of the OSCE. The insider information consisted of observer's preference to alcohol, women, their financial situation, and their contacts in Ukraine. The OSCE issued a statement expressing concern over the alleged security breach. [76]

Russia, on the other hand, has accused members of the Mission to work for the Ukrainian SBU and to spy on the pro-Russian separatists. [77] Furthermore, Russia has accused the mission of bias after it reported troop movements from separatist forces, accusing the mission of ignoring similar moves from Ukraine. [78] Russias foreign minister also has claimed that the mission failed to pay sufficient attention to human and minority rights within the Government-controlled areas of Ukraine. Furthermore, he criticised that the mission did not clearly attribute ceasefire violations to either side. [79]

Turkey

In April 2017, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan criticized the OSCE for reporting that opposition "No" campaigners in the Turkish constitutional referendum had faced bans, police interventions and arrests. Erdoğan said: "Now the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe says if the result is 'yes', that means there are a lot of problems. Who are you? First of all, you should know your place. This is not your duty." [80] [81] [82]

See also

Related Research Articles

Election monitoring

Election monitoring involves the observation of an election by one or more independent parties, typically from another country or from a non-governmental organization (NGO). The monitoring parties aim primarily to assess the conduct of an election process on the basis of national legislation and of international election standards. There are national and international election observers. Monitors do not directly prevent electoral fraud, but rather record and report instances of suspicious practices. Election observation increasingly looks at the entire electoral process over a long period of time, rather than at election-day proceedings only. The legitimacy of an election can be affected by the criticism of monitors, unless they are themselves seen as unbiased. A notable individual is often appointed honorary leader of a monitoring organization in an effort to enhance legitimacy of the monitoring process.

2008 Russian presidential election

The 2008 Russian presidential election was held on 2 March 2008, and resulted in the election of Dmitry Medvedev as the third President of Russia. Medvedev was elected for a 4-year term, whose candidacy was supported by incumbent President Vladimir Putin and five political parties, received 71% of the vote, and defeated Gennady Zyuganov of the Communist Party of the Russian Federation, and Vladimir Zhirinovsky of the Liberal Democratic Party of Russia and.

2006 Belarusian presidential election

Presidential elections were held in Belarus on 19 March 2006. The result was a victory for incumbent President Alexander Lukashenko, who received 84.4% of the vote. However, Western observers deemed the elections rigged. The Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE) declared that the election "failed to meet OSCE commitments for democratic elections". In contrast, election observers from the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS) described the vote as open and transparent.

Commonwealth of the Independent States - Election Monitoring Organization (CIS-EMO) — is an international non-governmental organization founded by the Commonwealth of Independent States. CIS-EMO conducts election observation missions and prepares reports of limited credibility that serve to counter the findings of more reputable organizations. It was founded in 2003 in Nizhny Novgorod, Russia and was led by Aleksey Kochetkov. As an NGO, it is different from other observers sent by the CIS.

Human rights in Ukraine is a highly contested topic and in 2018 Ukraine was labeled as "Partly Free" by organizations such as Freedom House.

Fairness of the 2008 Russian presidential election

The fairness of the 2008 Russian presidential election is disputed, with election monitoring groups giving conflicting reports. Most official reports accept that not all candidates had equal media coverage and that some election monitoring groups had restricted access to perform their role. Monitoring groups found a number of other irregularities, but made no official reports of fraud or ballot stuffing.

1999 Kazakh presidential election

Presidential elections were held in Kazakhstan on 10 January 1999. Incumbent president Nursultan Nazarbayev won the election with over 80% of the vote, and was sworn into office on 20 January 1999. Most observers viewed the election as blatantly unfair, further confirming that Nazarbayev was not interested in promoting a democratic system of government. Voter turnout was reported to be 87.0%.

Heidi Tagliavini Swiss diplomat

Heidi Tagliavini is a Swiss diplomat noted for her service with international aid and peacekeeping missions; a 2003 profile in the monthly magazine of the Neue Zürcher Zeitung called her "Switzerland's outstanding diplomat". She was charged with leading the European Union investigation into the causes of the 2008 Russo-Georgian war, and represented the OSCE in the 2015 negotiations about the Minsk II agreement concerning the war in Donbass.

Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights

The Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights (ODIHR) is the principal institution of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) dealing with the "human dimension" of security. The Office, originally named Office for Free Elections, was created in 1990 by the Charter of Paris and established in 1991. The name of the office was changed in 1992 to reflect the broadened mandate it received at the 1992 Helsinki Summit.

Aleksey Vladimirovich Kochetkov. Aleksey Kochetkov is a former engineer and political analyst well known for his closeness to official Russian policy under President Putin. He has often written in support Russia's occupation of Georgia, and also in support of pro-Moscow conspiracy theories in his book Neo-nazis and Maidan.

2013 Azerbaijani presidential election

Presidential elections were held in Azerbaijan on 9 October 2013. The result was a victory for incumbent President Ilham Aliyev, who received 84.5% of the vote, whilst leading opposition candidate Jamil Hasanli finished second with 5.5% of the vote.

During the ongoing war in Donbass between Ukrainian government forces and pro-Russian separatist insurgents in the Donbass region of Ukraine that began in April 2014, many international organisations and states noted a deteriorating humanitarian situation in the conflict zone.

Minsk Protocol September 2014 ceasefire agreement during the war in Donbass.

The Protocol on the results of consultations of the Trilateral Contact Group, or commonly known as the Minsk Protocol, is an agreement to halt the war in the Donbass region of Ukraine, signed by representatives of that country, the Russian Federation, the Donetsk People's Republic (DPR), the Luhansk People's Republic (LPR), and the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE) on 5 September 2014. It was signed after extensive talks in Minsk, Belarus, under the auspices of the OSCE. The agreement, which followed multiple previous attempts to stop the fighting in the Donbass, implemented an immediate ceasefire. It failed to stop fighting in Donbass, and was thus followed with a new package of measures, called Minsk II, which was agreed to on 12 February 2015. This too failed to stop the fighting, but the Minsk agreements remain the basis for any future resolution to the conflict, as agreed at the Normandy Format meet.

Michael Georg Link

Michael Georg Link is a German politician and Member of Parliament. He was the Director of the OSCE Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights (ODIHR) from July 2014 to June 2017. From January 2012 to December 2013, he served as First Deputy Foreign Minister in the government of Chancellor Angela Merkel.

Caviar diplomacy Lobbying strategy of Azerbaijan, consisting of costly invitations of foreign politicians and employees of international organizations to Azerbaijan at the expense of the host country, including expensive gifts (such as caviar)

Caviar diplomacy is the lobbying strategy of Azerbaijan, consisting of costly invitations of foreign politicians and employees of international organizations to Azerbaijan at the expense of the host country. Caviar Diplomacy also includes expensive gifts presented as "a tribute to the Eastern tradition."

Isabel Santos Portuguese politician

Maria Isabel Coelho Santos is a Portuguese politician of the Socialist Party who has been a Member of the European Parliament since the 2019 elections.

Azerbaijan joined the CSCE on January 30, 1992. This was the first European organization for Azerbaijan to join.

Michael Scanlan is an American diplomat who is the Head of the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE) Mission to Moldova. He was appointed to that position and as the OSCE mediator to the Transdniestrian settlement process in July 2014. His posts immediately prior were as Director of the Office of Eastern European Affairs in Washington, D.C., and Chargé d'Affaires to the U.S. Embassy in Minsk, Belarus.

OSCE Special Monitoring Mission to Ukraine

The Special Monitoring Mission to Ukraine is an international observer mission created under the auspices of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) to facilitate a peaceful settlement of ongoing War in Donbass in the Donetsk and Luhansk regions of eastern Ukraine.

Audrey Glover British international lawyer, election observer, DBE

Dame Audrey Glover DBE CMG is a British international lawyer, experienced election observer, former director of Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights (1994-1997).

References

  1. "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 19 July 2017. Retrieved 3 December 2017.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  2. "OSCE - Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe 2018". Countryeconomy.com. Archived from the original on 19 July 2017. Retrieved 30 December 2017.
  3. Galbreath, David J. (2007). The Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE). New York, NY: Routledge. ISBN   9780203960943.
  4. "Final Recommendations of the Helsinki Consultations". Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe. 3 July 1973. Archived from the original on 18 May 2015. Retrieved 9 May 2015.
  5. Ivanov, Igor S., The New Russian Diplomacy, Nixon Center and Brookings Institution Press: Washington, D.C., 2002. pp. 97-98.
  6. 1 2 3 Hammond, Roch (9 August 2004). "International Monitoring of US Election Called 'Frightening'". CNSNews.com. Cybercast News Service. Archived from the original on 3 February 2008. Retrieved 30 December 2016.
  7. 1 2 3 "U.S. invites international observers to Nov. election". USA Today. usatoday.com. 10 August 2004. Archived from the original on 15 May 2008. Retrieved 30 December 2016.
  8. "Presidential Election, 2 November 2004, United States of America Archived 30 December 2016 at the Wayback Machine ". OSCE Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights. Retrieved 2016-12-30.
  9. "OSCE website now available in six official languages". OSCE Secretariat. 30 June 2017. Archived from the original on 7 July 2019. Retrieved 7 July 2019.
  10. "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 9 July 2009. Retrieved 27 June 2009.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  11. www.osce.org https://web.archive.org/web/20091005081913/http://www.osce.org/about/19293.html. Archived from the original on 5 October 2009.Missing or empty |title= (help)
  12. "Making a credible case for a legal personality for the OSCE Archived 13 May 2013 at the Wayback Machine ", OSCE Secretariat
  13. "Vienna Document 1999 of the Negotiations on Confidence- and Security-building Measures" (PDF). Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe. 16 November 1999. Archived from the original (PDF) on 30 April 2005. Retrieved 21 May 2016.
  14. "What is the OSCE?". Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe. p. 7. Archived from the original on 26 March 2016. Retrieved 1 April 2016.
  15. "The OSCE Parliamentary Assembly". osce.org. Archived from the original on 18 January 2018. Retrieved 17 January 2018.
  16. "OSCE Chairperson-in-Office Rama announces appointments of senior OSCE officials". OSCE.
  17. "2017 OSCE Asian Conference". OSCE. Archived from the original on 30 June 2017. Retrieved 5 July 2017.
  18. "Chairperson-in-Office Representatives". www.osce.org. Retrieved 14 January 2021.
  19. "OSCE Chairpersonship". www.osce.org. Retrieved 14 January 2021.
  20. "Ann Linde". www.osce.org. Retrieved 14 January 2021.
  21. "The OSCE Chair-in-Office (CiO)". Global Affairs. international.gc.ca. Government of Canada. Archived from the original on 12 November 2014. Retrieved 12 November 2014.
  22. "Who we are". osce.org. Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe. Archived from the original on 12 November 2014. Retrieved 12 November 2014.
  23. "19th OSCE Ministerial Council". Osce.org. Archived from the original on 11 November 2017. Retrieved 31 December 2017.
  24. OSCE Magazine, issue number 4/2009 Archived 30 December 2009 at the Wayback Machine , December 2009, pages 20–23.
  25. "Funding and budget". Archived from the original on 18 August 2018. Retrieved 18 August 2018.
  26. "Secretariat - External Cooperation". OSCE. Archived from the original on 28 July 2011. Retrieved 4 February 2011.
  27. United Nations General Assembly Session 48 Resolution5. Observer status for the Conference on Security and Cooperation in Europe in the General AssemblyA/RES/48/5 22 October 1993. Retrieved 2008-10-01.
  28. United Nations Security Council Verbatim Report5982. S/PV/5982 page 2. Mr. Stubb Finland 26 September 2008. Retrieved 2008-10-01.
  29. "Arms control". Osce.org. Archived from the original on 18 November 2016. Retrieved 31 December 2017.
  30. "Open Skies Consultative Commission". Osce.org. Archived from the original on 15 February 2018. Retrieved 31 December 2017.
  31. "Border management". Osce.org. Archived from the original on 29 November 2016. Retrieved 31 December 2017.
  32. "Combating terrorism". Osce.org. Archived from the original on 18 November 2016. Retrieved 31 December 2017.
  33. "Conflict prevention and resolution". Osce.org. Archived from the original on 18 November 2016. Retrieved 31 December 2017.
  34. "Conflict prevention and resolution". Osce.org. Archived from the original on 15 March 2014. Retrieved 31 December 2017.
  35. 1 2 "Combating trafficking in human beings". Osce.org. Archived from the original on 15 March 2014. Retrieved 31 December 2017.
  36. "Palermo Protocol" (PDF). Untreaty.un.org. Archived from the original (PDF) on 28 September 2006.
  37. "Maria Grazia Giammarinaro". Osce.org. Archived from the original on 27 October 2011. Retrieved 31 December 2017.
  38. "Combating Trafficking in Human Beings in the OSCE Region" (PDF). Osce.org. Archived from the original (PDF) on 15 October 2009. Retrieved 31 December 2017.
  39. 1 2 "Democracy Defender Award presented at Schwedenhaus". OSCE mission in Sweden.[ permanent dead link ]
  40. "Russian EPDE member "Golos" awarded 2017 Democracy Defender Award in Vienna". European Platform for Democratic Elections.[ permanent dead link ]
  41. "On the 2020 Democracy Defender Award". U.S. Mission to the OSCE. 12 March 2020. Retrieved 24 February 2021.
  42. "2019 Democracy Defender Award Seminar and Presentation". U.S. Mission to the OSCE. 13 March 2019. Retrieved 25 March 2019.
  43. "Serbia's 'CRTA' Receives the 2018 Democracy Defender Award | USOSCE". U.S. Mission to the OSCE. 19 March 2018. Retrieved 25 March 2019.
  44. "Democracy Defender Award" till engagemang för demokratisk utveckling i Serbien". Sweden Abroad. Retrieved 25 March 2019.[ permanent dead link ]
  45. "Democracy Defenders Award". OSCE mission in Denmark. Archived from the original on 26 September 2018. Retrieved 29 June 2017.
  46. "The Munich Speech" Archived 21 February 2007 at the Wayback Machine , Kommersant Moscow
  47. "OSCE: Election Experts Debate Russian Criticism". Radio Free Europe / Radio Liberty. Archived from the original on 24 April 2017. Retrieved 24 April 2017.
  48. "Criticism of OSCE by Nine CIS Countries Draws the Response". Brama.com. Archived from the original on 7 September 2017. Retrieved 31 December 2017.
  49. "Austrian Study Centre for Peace and Conflict Resolution (ASPR) - Peace Castle Austria" (PDF). Aspr.ac.at. Archived (PDF) from the original on 27 September 2007. Retrieved 31 December 2017.
  50. "OSCE, ODIHR Showed Double Standard at U.S. Election, Russia’s Lawmaker Said Archived 11 May 2011 at the Wayback Machine ", Kommersant, 6 November 2008
  51. "OSCE/ODIHR Election Observation Mission Final Report Archived 25 February 2009 at the Wayback Machine " of the U.S. 2008 presidential election
  52. "US vote 'mostly free and fair'". BBC. 5 November 2004. Archived from the original on 13 December 2013. Retrieved 23 December 2013.
  53. An election in Copenhagen Archived 17 December 2013 at the Wayback Machine politico.com
  54. "Attorney General of Texas" (PDF). oag.state.tx.us. Archived from the original (PDF) on 14 January 2013. Retrieved 18 January 2013.
  55. "Attorney General Abbott Informs U.S. State Department that International Election Observers Cannot Circumvent Texas Law". Oag.state.tx.us. Texas Attorney General. 25 October 2012. Archived from the original on 24 October 2013. Retrieved 31 December 2017.
  56. Daily Press Briefing: 26 October 2012 US State Department
  57. OSCE Special Monitoring Mission to Ukraine. OSCE.
  58. Luke Harding. Ukraine: kidnapped observers paraded by pro-Russian gunmen in Slavyansk . The Guardian. 27 April 2014
  59. "Наблюдатели ОБСЕ возили в своем автомобиле вооруженных боевиков" (in Russian). TSN. 3 October 2014. Archived from the original on 5 October 2014. Retrieved 4 October 2014.
  60. Tom Burridge (1 February 2017). "We met Ukrainian troops and tanks in #Avdiivka ..." Twitter. Archived from the original on 9 April 2018. Retrieved 6 August 2018.
  61. "OSCE relaunches long-range surveillance drone program in Ukraine". UNIAN. 27 March 2018.
  62. "OSCE denies it gave information about Ukrainian troop positions to Russians". UNIAN. 11 November 2014. Retrieved 24 January 2021.
  63. "Status Report 14 December 2020" (PDF). OSCE Special Monitoring Mission to Ukraine. OSCE. Retrieved 4 January 2021.
  64. "The OSCE monitoring mission has stopped using drones to monitor the situation in the rebel-held territories". OSCE news.[ permanent dead link ]
  65. "Миссия ОБСЕ в Украине под шквалом критики". EuroUA. Archived from the original on 15 October 2014. Retrieved 11 November 2014.
  66. "Литвин рассказал генсеку ОБСЕ, что критика в адрес Украины не всегда объективна". Gazeta. Archived from the original on 11 November 2014. Retrieved 11 November 2014.
  67. "Россия узнала от ОБСЕ места дислокации ряда подразделений сил АТО". Liga. Archived from the original on 11 November 2014. Retrieved 11 November 2014.
  68. "Минобороны: 80% сотрудников ОБСЕ в Мариуполе – россияне, среди них ФСБшники". Ukrinform. Archived from the original on 3 June 2015. Retrieved 11 November 2014.
  69. "OSCE observer is wounded from counter-fire while observing separatist militia firing a mortar at Ukrainian forces". BurkoNews. Archived from the original on 13 December 2014.
  70. "Latest from OSCE Special Monitoring Mission to Ukraine (SMM) based on information received as of 18:00 (Kyiv time) 1 December 2014". OSCE.org. OSCE. Retrieved 28 January 2021.
  71. "Suspended OSCE monitor confirms he's Russian GRU officer". UNIAN. Archived from the original on 28 October 2015. Retrieved 28 October 2015.
  72. "That Time A Russian OSCE Monitor in Ukraine Got Drunk, Said Too Much". Value Walk.
  73. "OSCE Expresses 'Regret' After Staff Shown at Separatist Wedding in Ukraine". Radio Free Europe. Archived from the original on 8 April 2016. Retrieved 7 April 2016.
  74. "American member of watchdog OSCE killed in Ukraine". Reuters . 24 April 2017. Archived from the original on 4 July 2017. Retrieved 2 July 2017.
  75. 1 2 "Land Mine Kills American on Monitoring Mission in Ukraine". The New York Times. Reuters. 23 April 2017. Archived from the original on 31 December 2017. Retrieved 24 April 2017.
  76. "OSCE Ukraine mission says claim of Russian spying 'big blow'". France24. Archived from the original on 18 July 2018. Retrieved 18 July 2018.
  77. Miller, Christopher (18 July 2016). Radio Free Europe Radio Liberty https://www.rferl.org/a/russia-fsb-arrests-osce-ukraine-spying/27865916.html . Retrieved 4 January 2021.Missing or empty |title= (help)
  78. "Ukraine crisis: Russia accuses OSCE monitors of bias". BBC. 14 November 2014.
  79. "Russia's Foreign Minister Lavrov unhappy with OSCE SMM's performance in Ukraine". UNIAN. 12 August 2020. Retrieved 8 January 2021.
  80. "Erdogan slams OSCE ahead of constitutional referendum Archived 8 May 2018 at the Wayback Machine ". Euronews. 14 April 2017.
  81. "President Erdoğan slams OSCE over referendum campaign report Archived 8 May 2018 at the Wayback Machine ". Hürriyet . 14 April 2017.
  82. "OSCE: Turkey referendum 'contested on an unlevel playing field' Archived 8 May 2018 at the Wayback Machine ". Deutsche Welle. 17 April 2017.