Organization for Cooperation and Security in Europe (OSCE)

Background

The Conference on Security and Co-operation in Europe (CSCE) convened on 3 July 1973 in Helsinki. The Helsinki Final Act was signed by 35 States on 1 August 1975. It was renamed the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE) in 1994.

Participating States

57 states — Albania, Andorra, Armenia, Austria, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Belgium, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Canada, Croatia, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Georgia, Germany, Greece, Holy See, Hungary, Iceland, Ireland, Italy, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Malta, Moldova, Monaco, Mongolia, Montenegro, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Russian Federation, San Marino, Serbia, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Tajikistan, Turkey, Turkmenistan, Ukraine, United Kingdom, United States of America, and Uzbekistan.

Partners for Cooperation fall into two groups: The Mediterranean Partners for Co-operation (Algeria, Egypt, Israel, Jordan, Morocco and Tunisia) and the Asian Partners for Co-operation (Afghanistan, Japan, Republic of Korea and Thailand).

The Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) is the largest regional security organization in the world. It is engaged in early warning, conflict prevention, crisis management, and post-conflict rehabilitation. The OSCE maintains a cooperative and comprehensive approach to security, dealing with a variety of security-related matters, including arms control, preventive diplomacy, confidence- and security-building measures, human rights, democratization, election monitoring, and economic and environmental security.

Agreements

Major agreements and documents in an OSCE context: “Treaty on Conventional Armed Forces in Europe” (CFE), 19 November 1990; "Charter of Paris for a New Europe," adopted on 21 November 1990; "Vienna Document on Confidence- and Security- Building Measures," 4 March 1992; "Declaration on the Treaty on Open Skies," 24 March 1992; Helsinki Summit Document "The Challenges of Change," 10 July 1992; Budapest Summit Document "Towards a Genuine Partnership in a New Era," 6 December 1994; Lisbon Summit Declaration "A Common and Comprehensive Model for Europe for the Twentieth Century," adopted 3 December 1996; Istanbul Summit Document, "Charter for European Security," adopted 19 November 1999.

Structure and Institutions

Summits of Heads of States or Governments

Meetings set priorities and provide orientation for OSCE work at the highest level. The most recent summit took place in Istanbul from 18-19 November 1999, and concluded the "Istanbul document". Since 1975, there have been six CSCE (OSCE) summits.

Ministerial Council
(Formerly the CSCE Council)

The council comprises the foreign ministers of the OSCE Member States. It is the central decision making and governing body of the OSCE. It holds meetings once a year.

Senior Council (which replaced the Committee of Senior Officials)

The Senior Council is responsible for the overview, management, and coordination of OSCE activities. It is the central body for consultation on current political issues, and OSCE members are encouraged to be represented at the level of political directors. It meets twice a year in Prague and once a year as the Economic Forum.

Permanent Council (formerly the Permanent Committee)

The Permanent Council is responsible for the day-to-day operational tasks of the OSCE. Its members are permanent representatives of OSCE Member States. The Permanent Council takes decisions on all issues pertinent to the OSCE. It holds weekly meetings and is based in Vienna.

Forum for Security Cooperation (FSC)

The Forum meets weekly in Vienna and negotiates and consults on concrete measures aimed at strengthening security and stability throughout Europe. Its main objectives are negotiations on arms control, disarmament and confidence- and security-building measures; regular consultations and intensive cooperation on matters related to security; and the further reduction of the risks of conflict. It is also responsible for the implementation of confidence-and security-building measures (CSBMs), the preparation of seminars on military doctrine, the holding of annual implementation assessment meetings, and for the provision of a forum for discussion and clarification of information exchanged under agreed CSBMs.

Chairman-in-Office (CIO)

The CIO is responsible for executive action. This function is performed by the foreign minister of the state who hosted the last meeting of the Ministerial Council. The CIO for 2009 is the Greek foreign minister Dora Bakoyannis. The CIO is assisted by:

Troika

The delegation comprises the preceding, present, and succeeding chairs (the 2008 Troika consists of Finland, Greece, and Kazakhstan); ad hoc steering groups may be established as needed to assist the CIO, particularly in the field of conflict prevention and crisis management; personal representatives are designated by the CIO, with clear mandates for assisting the CIO in dealing with a crisis or conflict.

Secretary General

The secretary general acts as the representative of the CIO and supports the chair's activities. The secretary general is the OSCE's chief administrative officer, appointed by the council for a period of three years. The current secretary general is Ambassador Marc Perrin de Brichambaut (France).

Secretariat

The secretariat is under the direction of the secretary general. In addition to the Office of the Secretary General, it consists of the Conflict Prevention Centre (CPC), the Department for Administration and Operations, and the Coordinator of OSCE Economic and Environmental Activities, as well as the Prague Office of the Secretariat. The secretariat services an Open Skies Consultative Commission (OSCC) established under the 1992 Treaty on Open Skies for consideration of all questions related to compliance with the treaty.

Verification and Compliance

The OSCE is founded on the principle that all participating States are accountable to each other with respect to their relations vis-à-vis other participating States and also with respect to the way they treat their own citizens. Cooperative security and arms control issues are dealt with by the Vienna Forum for Security Cooperation (FSC). Of critical importance is the issue of implementing and verifying existing agreements (confidence- and security-building measures —CSBMs— in accordance with the Vienna Document of 1999 and the 1994 Code of Conduct on politico-military aspects of security). Furthermore, the arms control regime defined by the 1995 Dayton Accords (Annex 1B on regional stabilization) is implemented under the auspices of the FSC. Through continued negotiation, confidence-building measures have been extended, and higher expectations for treaty compliance and verification have been set.

Developments

2016

On 7 February, OSCE Chairperson Frank-Walter Steinmeier condemned the DPRK’s ballistic missile test, calling it “openly defiant” of the UNSC, and encouraged the international community to react to the test with further consequences.

On 26 February, Tajikistan’s government approved the OSCE’s National Action Plan to implement UNSCR 1540.

On 22 April, the OSCE office in Dushanbe, Tajikistan concluded a week-long workshop on radiation safety, including topics such as nuclear terrorism, nuclear trafficking, and radiation detection techniques.

On 25 April, OSCE Economic and Environmental Activities Coordinator Yurdakul Yigitguden described the sustainable development plans pursued by OSCE in the areas affected by the 1986 Chernobyl nuclear disaster at an Anniversary Conference in Minsk. These engagements include “mapping of radiation risks, wildfire containment, and cooperation between Aarhus Centres.”

On 26 April, OSCE Chairperson Frank-Walter Steinmeier commemorated the 30th Anniversary of the Chernobyl nuclear disaster, noting that further international cooperation is required to “alleviate [its] consequences.”

On 29 April, Tajikistan presented its OSCE-supported National Action Plan to implement UNSCR 1540 to the international community.

On 1 July, 16 OSCE member states participated in an OSCE-organized training session regarding implementation of UNSCR 1540.  Participants discussed legislation, trafficking, and export controls.

On 2 July, the Parliamentary Assembly’s 25th Session began in Tbilisi, Georgia.  The topics discussed included transnational terrorism, energy, and the refugee crisis.

On 5 July, President of the OSCE Parliamentary Assembly Ilkka Kanerva and Chairman of the Georgian Parliament David Usupashvili used their opening statements to urge the United Kingdom to avoid isolationist policies in light of the recent “Brexit” vote and departure from the EU.

On 5 August, representatives from Belarus, Kyrgyzstan, and Tajikistan met at OSCE: Minsk to discuss implementation progress for UNSCR 1540.

On 9 September, Germany, as OSCE Chair, denounced the most recent nuclear test by the DPRK, and urged them to adhere to UNSC resolutions.

On 16 September, Kyrgyzstan and the OSCE concluded a two-day roundtable discussing the National Action Plan to implement UNSCR 1540 in Issyk-Kul, Kyrgyzstan. The topics discussed included import/export control, biosecurity, and materials surveillance. 

2015

On 12 March, the OSCE held a roundtable on management and control of small arms and light weapons with Kyrgyzstan. Representatives discussed the final draft law on the Regulation on Disposal of Small Arms and Light Weapons.

On 24 April, the OSCE concluded a ten-day training course on detection and prevention of trafficking of dual-use chemicals and improvised explosive devices. Experts from the World Customs Organization (WCO) delivered the course.

On 27 May, the OSCE assisted Albania in disposal of 116 tons of highly toxic chemicals. The OSCE has been assisting Albania in demilitarization in recent years.

2014

On 25 July, the OSCE held a meeting in Ashgabat, Turkmenistan looking at export controls, transshipment of weapons of mass destruction, and broader implementation of UNSCR 1540. The two-day event brought together about twenty-five participants representing the Ministries of Foreign Affairs, Defence, Internal Affairs, National Security, the Ministry of Economy and Development, the Ministry of Finance, the Ministry of Trade and Foreign Economic Affairs, as well as the State Customs and Border Services and the Ministry of Healthcare and Medical Industry of Turkmenistan.

On 10-25 September, the OSCE assisted in training Moldovan armed forces on the physical security and stockpile management of small arms, light weapons and conventional ammunition. Austrian, Swedish, Canadian and German specialists participated in the training.

On 18 December, the OSCE and Kyrgyzstan signed five agreements on the management and control of small arms and light weapons in Kyrgyzstan, regarding improvement of the regulatory and legal framework, security management, construction of new warehouse, training for Defense Ministry personnel, as well as destruction of surplus stockpiles.

2013

On 20 March, the OSCE removed 376 tons of a toxic rocket fuel component, called mélange, from deteriorating storage containers at a site in Shevchenkove, Ukraine. The OSCE monitors all steps of the project to remove mélange from Ukraine, including loading, shipment, and storage of the fuel component. Ukraine had 16,000 tons of mélange prior to the start of the project. The OSCE has overseen the removal of more than 10,000 tons of mélange from Ukraine.

On 7 May, the OSCE Chairperson-in-Office, Ukrainian Foreign Minister Leonid Kozhara, briefed the United Nations Security Council. He spoke about Ukraine’s OSCE Chairmanship priorities, especially working with the UN to promote international security. Specifically, he highlighted joint work on preventing and resolving conflicts, disarmament and non-proliferation initiatives, transnational security threats, human trafficking and the need to develop new trade and transport routes. Additionally, Kozhara emphasized facilitating the Helsinski +40 dialogue.

On 23 May, OSCE Secretary General Lamberto Zannier addressed high-level dignitaries in Moscow, Russia, to discuss the approach of the OSCE for conventional arms control in Europe.

On 29 June, the OSCE assisted in the transfer of 410 tons of toxic rocket fuel, stored in deteriorating containers, from Kazakhstan to a safe chemical disposal facility in Russia.

On 12 July, the OSCE assisted in the destruction of 19 R-60M missiles belonging to the Republic of Moldova. The destruction was necessary due to the growing danger of handling the weapons and the political liability involved with owning them. The missile destruction took place in the Republic of Georgia.

On 24 July, the OSCE Mission to Moldova completed the removal of ionized radiation sources from hospitals and factories in Transdniestra. The number of sources totaled 700, and complements the success of removal of 250 other sources of ionized radiation earlier this year.

On 19 August, the OSCE facilitated an expert meeting to discuss the technical aspects of implementation of UNSC Resolution 1540 on non-proliferation of WMDs in Uzbekistan.

On 4 September, seven hundred and sixty tons of mélange, a Soviet era toxic rocket fuel component, was shipped from Ukraine to Russia for destruction. With this, East Ukraine is now free of substance from propelling short and medium range missiles.

On 10 October, OSCE convened a conference in Kyiv regarding terrorism issues. The conference will discuss the challenges, latest concerns and initiatives in the fields of countering violent extremism and radicalization that lead to terrorism; encouraging public-private partnerships in countering terrorism, as well as promoting law enforcement co-operation and the protection of human rights and the rule of law in the context of counter-terrorism.

On 14 October, the OSCE embarked on a project to repackage and safely store 80 tons of 37 various types of hazardous chemicals in the military facilities of Albania.

On 27 November, the OSCE undertook a training exercise in radioactive material and environmentally sensitive commodities in central Ukraine. The training exercise, attended by border officers and representatives of the state nuclear regulator, focused on detecting radioactive materials at border checkpoints and was the second such exercise held this year.

2012

On 24 January, the OSCE held a regional workshop in Valletta, Malta for customs and licensing officers with Mediterranean Partners on military and dual-use goods. The regional workshop focused on helping to combat the trafficking of strategic dual-use commodities and conventional weapons.

On 3-6 April, the OSCE Border Management Staff College (BMSC) held a training course on implementing UNSCR 1540 on the non-proliferation of weapons of mass destruction in Dushanbe, Tajikistan. Members from 11 countries participated.

On 21 September, the annual OSCE human rights conference opened in Warsaw. Speakers of this conference stressed that security is not possible unless there is respect for human rights and democracy.

On 28 September, the OSCE Chairperson-in-Office addressed the UN General Assembly emphasizing the importance of human rights in promoting peace and security. He stressed that OSCE must be responsive to current human right challenges and be clear about its objectives and goals.

On 8 November, the Co-Chairs of the OSCE Minsk Group presented their annual report in Vienna. The representatives from the United States, France and Russia outlined their activities over the last year and discussed how to best manage times of tension and avoid violence. The three representatives also meet with the Swiss and Ukrainian delegation for future chairmanship.

On 7 December, the 19th meeting of the OSCE Ministerial Council ended in Dublin. The 20th meeting of the Ministerial Council will reconvene in Ukraine in 2013.

2011

On 27-28 January, the OSCE Forum for Security Co-operation and the UN Office for Disarmament Affairs held a workshop in Vienna, Austria, to address the implementation of UNSCR 1540 and how OSCE can facilitate the process. The OSCE Permanent Council Chairperson, Ambassador Renatas Norkus of Lithuania stated, "As the most inclusive and comprehensive security organization within its region, the OSCE is well-placed to make an added-value contribution to an expanding international non-proliferation regime." The workshop agreed that regional organizations such as OSCE have a "comparative advantage through their knowledge of regional specificities" and can be of great assistance to the 1540 Committee.

On 15 June, OSCE Secretary General Marc Perrin de Brichambaut signed an extension of a contract for the safe disposal of 9,500 tons of melange, a toxic rocket fuel liquid, stored across Ukraine. The disposal will start later this year. Deposit sites located near the stadiums hosting the 2012 European Football Championship will be cleaned before the championship begins.

On 10 July, parliamentarians from 53 countries voted to pass the Belgrade Declaration, a document that contains recommendations on nuclear safety, human rights, and cyber security, among other important issues.

Part of the declaration that addresses nuclear safety calls for a construction of a global system that will:

  • Forecast and promptly notify governments of natural disasters;
  • Organize international assistance to affected areas;
  • Initiate foreign investment to reconstruct affected communities;
  • Investment in energy-saving technologies and environmentally friendly industries; and,
  • Achieve greater economic co-operation and information sharing in the field of cyber security.

President Petros Efthymiou of Greece was re-elected as president of the OSCE Parliamentary Assembly.

On 7 September, Kazakhstan’s Defence Minister Adilbek Dzhaksybekov addressed the FSC, inaugurating Kazakhstan’s Chairmanship of the FSC in the third trimester of 2011. He listed modernizing the Vienna Document 1999, addressing issues related to the implementation of OSCE documents on small arms and light weapons, and on conventional ammunition, as well as non-proliferation of weapons of mass destruction as among the key priorities of Kazakhstan as the new Chair of the OSCE Forum for Security Co-operation (FSC).

In October 2011, the OSCE Secretariat and the United Nations signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) agreeing to work together on preventing proliferation of weapons of mass destruction and increase technical collaboration in implementing UN Security Council Resolution 1540. The OSCE Secretariat’s Conflict Prevention Center and the United Nations Office for Disarmament Affairs will together insure the fulfillment of the terms of the Memorandum. The two organizations recently held a joint workshop for Central Asian States on the implementation of Resolution 1540.

On 22 December, the Forum for Security Cooperation published the Vienna Document 2011 on Confidence and Security Building Measures. This updates the Vienna Document 1999 on Confidence and Security Building Measures.

2010

On 18-19 February the OSCE Parliamentary Assembly met for the 9th Winter Meeting in Vienna, Austria. After discussing whether improvements were being made in Afghanistan, OSCE delegations present reaffirmed their dedication to promoting stability in Afghanistan. Kazakhstan's Foreign Minister Kanat Saudabayev also called for improved cooperation between OSCE parliamentarians in order to strengthen the European arms control regime.

The OSCE Parliamentary Assembly's 19th Annual session took place from 6-10 July in Oslo under the theme "Rule of Law: Combating Transnational Crime and Corruption." Participants debated resolutions dealing with the topic and 35 other supplementary items covering a wide range of issues including the situation in Kyrgyzstan, the Parliamentary Assembly's involvement in the Corfu process, the peace process in the Middle East, nuclear security, cybercrime, the situation in the Arctic, the right of return of internally displaced persons, investigative journalism, and the death penalty. Towards the end of the session, Ambassador Petros Efthymiou (Greece) was elected as the Assembly's new President. Ambassador Riccardo Migliori (Italy), Ambassador Alexander Kozlovskiy (Russia), Ambassador Oleh Bilorus (Ukraine), and Isabel Pozuelo (Spain) were elected as Vice-Presidents.

On 8-11 October, over 200 parliamentarians from 50 countries participated in the OSCE Parliamentary Assembly's 9th Fall Meetings in Palermo, Italy. The event was hosted by the Italian Parliament and included a conference entitled "The Fight against Transnational Organized Crime and Corruption."

From 1-2 December, representatives from 56 States met for an OSCE Summit in Astana, Kazakhstan. During this event, the Astana Commemorative Declaration was adopted, which reaffirms the OSCE's reliance on trust and transparency. The document also calls for the revitalization and modernization of existing conventional arms control and security building regimes.

2009

On 12 February, the OSCE Permanent Council agreed to extend the mandate of the OSCE military monitoring officers in Georgia only to 30 June. On that date, the OSCE's observer mission shut down and the monitors departed. The mission in Georgia had been active since 1992.

On 27-28 June, the OSCE Foreign Ministers met in Corfu, Greece. In their concluding statement, the Ministers identified five major sets of security issues facing them. They were: 1) "protracted conflicts, ethnic tensions and unresolved border disputes," 2) the CFE Treaty's continued state in limbo, 3) democracy and rule of law, 4) the deepening economic crisis, and 5) "energy security, illegal migration, human trafficking, terrorism and fundamentalism, cybercrime and rising instability" in regions adjacent to OSCE states.

From 29 June to 3 July, the 18th Annual Session of the OSCE Parliamentary Assembly was held in Vilnius, Lithuania. The main theme of the session was "The OSCE: Addressing New Security Challenges," It produced a series of resolutions that it called the Vilnius Declaration. The resolutions called for increased transparency in OSCE's workings, greater coordination in response to the ongoing financial crisis, and improved regulation of small arms and light weapons (SALW). It further issued a strong statement of commitment to democratic values and basic freedoms, as well as condemning the violence and arrests of British Embassy workers in Iran.

From 9 to 12 October, the OSCE Parliamentary Assembly met in Athens, Greece for the Fall Meeting held under the theme: "Energy Security and Environment." Nearly 200 members from 50 OSCE States were in attendance. The meeting included three focuses sessions centered on regional cooperation in energy security, climate and environmental policy, and the optimal utilization of natural resources for security.

2008

The Forum for Security Co-operation convened on 16 January in Vienna and decided that its work for this year would be guided by the Madrid Ministerial Decision of November 2007. The focus was on arms control, disarmament, confidence and security-building measures, conflict prevention, new security challenges, and implementation of the UNSCR 1540.

The 17th Annual Session of the OSCE Parliamentary Assembly was held in Astana from 29 June to 3 July. The theme was "Transparency in the OSCE" and the meetings brought together 227 parliamentarians. They debated issues ranging from water management to trade to cyber-security to migration and concluded the Astana Declaration (link in Russian) with calls for more transparency in the organization of, and access to, political and historical archives. It also urges participating States to increase transparency in the use of private military contractors and to ensure that these contractors operate under international law.

2007

The 15th Economic and Environmental Forum (formally known as the Economic Forum) met for the first of two meetings on 22-23 January. The theme "Key challenges to ensure environmental security and sustainable development in the OSCE area: Land degradation, soil contamination, and water management" analyzed the link between environmental change and security. The forum discussed how climate change, desertification, resource scarcity, pollution, and other environmental problems can lead to poverty and environmentally induced migration. The meeting also addressed the balance between environmental protection and economic growth.

The second meeting of the Economic and Environmental Forum convened in Prague from 21-23 May. The forum continued the discussion from the January meeting on the topic of environment and security.

The Forum for Security Cooperation held a special meeting in Vienna on 21 March to discuss illicit SALW trafficking by air. The meeting brought together representatives from OSCE member states, several international organizations, and the private air transportation sector. Discussion during the meeting focused on the complexity of SALW transportation and the responsibility shared by governments and private sector companies alike in preventing illicit trafficking.

The Extraordinary Conference of the States Parties to the CFE Treaty was held in Vienna on 12-15 June. Russia officially requested the meeting on 28 May. According to article XXI of the treaty, any state party can request an extraordinary conference under "exceptional circumstances." The Russian government stated that the "exceptional circumstances" included the expansion of NATO and "NATO foot-dragging on ratification of the Agreement on the Adaptation of the CFE Treaty."

The 16th OSCE Parliamentary Assembly met on 5-9 July in Kyiv. In its Kyiv Declaration, the Assembly expressed regret at the lack of progress in resolving so-called 'frozen conflicts' in the OSCE region, and recommended strengthened action in several fields, including migration, energy, and environmental security.

Representatives of Russia and the United States convened on 31 October at a meeting of the OSCE Forum for Security Co-operation (FSC) to discuss the missile defense initiative.

The 15th Ministerial Council met in Madrid on 29-30 November. The Council agreed on a new decision to ensure that the OSCE states focus on arms control, disarmament, confidence- and security-building measures, conflict prevention, and address new security challenges. The decision supported the UN Global Counter-Terrorism Strategy, and tasked the OSCE Forum for Security Co-operation to promote the implementation of UN Security Council Resolution 1540 by sharing experiences and identifying ways to assist participating states in implementing the Resolution nationally.

The November Council also approved a decision to step up OSCE's engagement with Afghanistan in order to help secure and manage borders between OSCE's Central Asian countries and Afghanistan, train police, and support the fight against drug trafficking.

2006

The 14th Economic Forum met twice throughout the year. On 23 and 24 January, representatives met in Vienna, Austria to discuss the theme of "Transportation in the OSCE area: Secure transportation networks and transport development to enhance regional economic co-operation and stability." The meeting addressed important issues of the 2006 Belgian chairmanship including improving economic integration between Europe and Asia, combating corruption, and assisting landlocked countries. Representatives stressed the importance of transportation for international cooperation, economic development, and conflict resolution.

The 14th Economic Forum reconvened 22-24 May in Prague with 370 representatives from 60 countries. The forum continued its discussion on transportation issues in the OSCE region, especially in the South Caucuses, the Transdniestran region of Moldova, and the landlocked countries of Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, and Uzbekistan. Other issues addressed included security and environmental issues. Participants stressed the importance of transportation development as a means of increasing economic efficiency and improving trade relations with Asia.

The 15th Annual Session of the Parliamentary Assembly convened in Brussels on 4-7 of July. The assembly passed the Brussels Declaration, a document that makes proposals on a variety of issues including security, economics, the environment, and human rights violations including "crimes of honour." The declaration also called for increasing support of OSCE field site operations in the Balkans.

The Forum for Security Cooperation continued its 2005 work on the nonproliferation of weapons of mass destruction. The Workshop on the Implementation of Security Council Resolution 1540 was held in Vienna on 8 November. The OSCE hopes to take an important regional role in the prevention of proliferation and terrorist activity by working closely with the UNSC Resolution 1540 Committee. The meeting addressed national strategies and plans for adhering to the obligations of Resolution 1540. Topics addressed included the security of nuclear material, legal reforms, and export controls.

The 14th Ministerial Council met in Brussels 4 — 5 December. The meeting was successful in passing a range of decisions and statements on issues such as transportation, energy, crime, Kosovo, Nagorno-Karabakh, and sexual exploitation of children. CIO Karel De Gucht of Belgium stated progress was made on small arms trafficking and proliferation. The CIO also expressed concern over "frozen" conflicts in Europe, namely Moldova and Georgia, but said that progress was being made in Nagorno-Karabakh.

A report of the OSCE Audited Final Statements, published by an External Auditor on 10 July 2007, assessed that for the FY 2006 the total income of the Organization totaled to €188.7 million and the total expenditures to €180.9 million. The professional staff positions amounted to 1,415 and the General Service position to 2,147, which means a total staff of 3,562.

2005

On 10 June 2005, Ambassador Marc Perrin de Brichambaut was appointed as OSCE secretary general for a three-year term.

Later that month, on 27 June, the Panel of Eminent Persons presented its report, "Common Purpose," on strengthening the effectiveness of the OSCE to the Slovenian CIO. The report includes numerous recommendations in the following categories: strengthening the OSCE's identity and profile, improving consultative and decision-making processes, clarifying the roles of the CIO and secretary general, enhancing field operations, and strengthening operational capacities.

A second important report issued in June was the report on the future of the OSCE prepared by a joint project between the OSCE Parliamentary Assembly and the Swiss Institute for World Affairs.

The Chairmanship continued the efforts to implement strategies for OSCE work in the politico-military dimension. Preventing and combating terrorism was high on the agenda. Furthermore, the OSCE Border Security and Management Concept was continued.

2004

During the first half of the year the OSCE, under the chairmanship of Bulgarian foreign minister Solomon Passy, attended to concerns surrounding possible terrorist activity and arms control. On 11-12 March, the OSCE, in conjunction with the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime, held a follow-up conference to the United Nations Counter-Terrorism Committee Special Meeting in Vienna. Discussion focused on current issues of global terrorism, including MANPADS and narco-terrorism. Participants, who included counterterrorism experts from around the world, also adopted a Special Declaration expressing sympathy and solidarity in light of the terrorist attacks in Madrid, Spain on 11 March. In addition, they issued a Vienna Declaration, pledging to "seek ways in which to enhance the effectiveness of our efforts against terrorism" and implement UN Resolution 1373, among other commitments.

On 17-18 May, the Forum for Security Cooperation and the OSCE Conflict Prevention Center held a regional seminar for the Central Asian States introducing the Handbook of Best Practices on Small Arms and Light Weapons, recently published by the OSCE's Forum for Security and Co-operation. Later that month, at a Plenary Meeting on 26 May, the OSCE's Forum for Security Cooperation adopted a decision, "OSCE Principles for Export Control of Man-Portable Air Defence Systems," outlining acceptable exports of surface-to-air missiles. The decision specified, for instance, guarantees the recipient country must make prior to the authorization of MANPADS exports.

The OSCE held its 12th Economic Forum, "New Challenges for Building up Institutional and Human Capacity for Economic Development and Co-operation," in Prague from 31 May to 4 June. Discussions centered mainly on economic development and cooperation and, specifically, the OSCE's earlier adoption of a "Strategy Document for the Economic and Environmental Dimensions." Those in attendance advocated greater interaction between State governments and the business community as a means to fostering cooperation and prosperity and preventing conflict.

The OSCE Annual Security Review Conference in Vienna began on 23 June. The CIO delivered a speech asking participating States to focus on chemical, biological, radiological, and nuclear materials in their efforts to prevent terrorism, especially "in view of recent research indicating the increased risk of asymmetric and non-conventional threats." He also noted that member States should increase efforts to prevent terrorists from acquiring conventional explosives by securing civilian sites and removing the risks of ammunition and conventional explosive stockpiles. During the two-day conference, several working groups met, including groups discussing "Comprehensive Security" and "Preventing and Combating Terrorism." At the latter, participants expressed the view that the risk of terrorists obtaining or transferring fissile or biological material across international borders should be treated as a priority concern by the OSCE, and that there is a great need to focus on preventing terrorists acquisition of WMD.

The Thirteenth Annual Session of the OSCE Parliamentary Assembly, themed "Co-operation and Partnership: Coping with New Security Threats," convened in Edinburgh, Scotland from 5-9 July. Representatives from 42 OSCE States adopted the "Edinburgh Declaration," a statement dealing with various aspects of this theme. Specifically, the Declaration addresses and condemns terrorism and its implications, and urges the international community to assist in carrying out the fight against terrorism while conforming to international laws of human rights and refugee protection. The Declaration also addresses other issues, and reaffirms principles outlined in the 2003 Rotterdam Declaration.

In a report to the General Committee on Political Affairs and Security, rapporteur Clifford Lincoln addressed the need for new responses to contemporary threats such as international terrorism. He discussed the threat of the proliferation of nuclear, chemical and biological weapons in addition to conventional arms, particularly noting the danger of terrorists acquiring weapons from unsecured stockpiles. Acknowledging the work done by the Forum for Security Cooperation, he addressed new obstacles such as changes in militaries since the end of the Cold War, and stressed that the OSCE should work to improve "the integration of armed forces into civil society, [strengthen] parliamentary oversight of the army, police and security forces in its member states." The report also addressed issues of internal reform within the OSCE.

Prior to the conclusion of the Annual Session, the Parliamentary Assembly elected Alcee Hastings, a U.S. Congressman, to a year-long term as its president, and also elected several new committee officers. The Winter Meeting of the Parliamentary Assembly had been held in February in Vienna. The fall meeting of the Parliamentary Assembly was held in Greece from 29 September to 1 October, and the Twelfth Meeting of the OSCE Ministerial Council took place in Bulgaria from 6-7 December.

2003

From 20 to 23 May, the OSCE held its 11th Economic Forum on "Trafficking in Human Beings, Drugs, Small Arms and Light Weapons: National and International Impact" in Prague. The forum addressed the New Strategy Document on economic and environmental challenges and the preparation for a "practical, organizational response to the pervasive, OSCE-wide problem of trafficking." Personal representative of the CIO, H.E. Daan Everts, summarized issues discussed at the forum, including government policies, the need for signing and ratifying the UN Convention against organized crime, the appointment of a Special Representative on trafficking, and the role of the business community in the fight against trafficking and terrorism. Other issues addressed were the role of both large and small NGOs and the relationship between economic and environmental challenges facing the OSCE region. In November, the Organization submitted to the Maastricht Ministerial Conference a New Strategy Document for the Economic and Environmental Dimension, indicating the economic and environmental challenges that affect security and stability in the OSCE region.

On 5-9 July, the OSCE held its 12th Annual Session of the OSCE Parliamentary Assembly in De Doelen, Rotterdam. The Assembly adopted the Rotterdam Declaration, which focuses on the political, economic and human rights aspects of the central theme of the session: "The Role of the OSCE in the New Architecture of Europe." Resolutions that were adopted included Combating Anti-Semitism in the 21st Century, prisoners detained by the United States at the Guantanamo Base, the International Criminal Court as well as resolutions on Belarus and Moldova. The Rotterdam Declaration states that "the security structure of Europe is undergoing continuous development and that the real strength of the OSCE lies both in its capacity to respond to security threats and challenges, and in its strong field presence." It emphasizes the importance of the further enhancement of the Economic and Environmental Dimension of the OSCE and suggests that the OSCE "adopt a more balanced regional approach when promoting the implementation of the participating States' human dimension commitments, and to take into account the differences of each country and region." The Assembly concluded its annual session with the adoption of a resolution on the parliamentary follow-up of OSCE activities at the national level as well as the re-election of Bruce George, the Chair of the Defense Committee of the House of Commons, as the OSCE president for a second one-year term. The Parliamentary Assembly had last met at its winter meeting in Vienna in February, where one of the major topics discussed was the ongoing situation in Iraq.

The OSCE's Forum for Security Cooperation issued several decisions related to arms control in 2003. At a Plenary Meeting on 18 June, it adopted a decision regarding "Best Practice Guides on Small Arms and Light Weapons." Members endorsed the guides' development and compilation into a handbook to be presented at the First OSCE Annual Security Review Conference in Vienna on 25-26 June 2003 and at the First Biennial Meeting of States on the implementation of the United Nations Program of Action in New York from 7-11 July 2003. On 23 July, the Forum for Security Cooperation issued a decision on MANPADS, in which it promoted the implementation of "effective and comprehensive" MANPAD export controls and urged member States to suggest projects to deal with MANPADS-related problems, including stockpile security and management and collection and control programs. At a Plenary Meeting on 19 November, the group adopted a "Document on Stockpiles of Conventional Ammunition," describing risks posed by such stockpiles, explosive material, and surplus detonating devices and prescribing a series of general principles. It also established a clear procedure to address and manage this threat and to provide assistance to States requesting it. This step came after Belarus became the first participating State to request assistance in destroying and controlling excess small arms and light weapons in July.

Several seminars addressed various aspects of terrorism and arms control. From 20-31 October, the OSCE Center in Tashkent and Conflict Prevention Center held a training program to combat the illicit trafficking of small arms and light weapons between Afghanistan and Uzbekistan in Termez, Uzbekistan. The program was a follow-up to a training project in November 2002. And from 20-21 October, the OSCE Action Against Terrorism Unit, Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights and UN Office on Drugs and Crime's Global Program against Terrorism hosted a seminar in Dushanbe, Tajikistan regarding the provision of technical assistance in implementing UN Security Council Resolution 1373.

From 1-2 December, the OSCE Eleventh Meeting of the Ministerial Council was held in Maastricht, the Netherlands. The ministers laid out a "Strategy to Address Threats to Security and Stability in the Twenty-First Century." In it, they stressed the need for a comprehensive security approach and the role of human rights and environmental and socio-economic factors as a means to stability. The strategy noted that the threat of inter- and intra-State conflict may "pose a risk to neighboring areas and may give rise to instability and other types of threats, such as terrorism, proliferation of weapons of mass destruction, excessive and destabilizing accumulation and uncontrolled spread of small arms and light weapons," among other things. It described terrorism as demanding "a global approach, addressing its manifestations as well as the social, economic and political context in which it occurs."

Regarding nonproliferation, the OSCE Ministers, in the strategy document, noted that work is needed in the area of illicit conventional arms and small arms and light weapons transfers, and stated that the Forum for Security Cooperation is actively working to develop "structured dialogue" on nonproliferation. The strategy document also noted efforts to address the proliferation of MANPADS, and to promote the implementation of effective export controls, to destroy excess MANPADS, and to the integrity of national stockpiles. In addition, in the document, the Ministers recognized the significance of the CFE treaty and the Treaty on Open Skies, adding that there is still room for additional measures to reduce threats.

In addition to endorsing an "Action Plan to Combat Trafficking in Human Beings," and making decisions on non-discrimination, elections, and other issues, the 55 OSCE foreign ministers endorsed the Forum for Security Cooperation document relating to the risks posed by stockpiles of conventional ammunition. This document provides additional procedures and mechanisms, including "voluntary, transparent, complementary and sustainable" measures for the destruction of stockpiles. They also endorsed the FSC decision regarding Man-Portable Air Defense Systems, encouraging the effective implementation of export controls and noting concerns offered by participating States surrounding the possible acquisition of MANPADS by terrorist organizations. In addition, OSCE ministers committed to the creation of a Counter-Terrorism Network in order "to promote the strengthening of co-ordination of counter-terrorism measures and information-sharing between OSCE participating States." It was also decided that Belgium would assume the OSCE chairmanship in 2006.

Throughout 2003, the Action against Terrorism Unit of the OSCE, established in 2002, worked with the United Nations Counter-Terrorism Committee and the UNDODC in Vienna in 2003, organizing two regional workshops on travel document security and other terrorism-related topics. The ATU also conducted an assessment of bilateral and multilateral counter-terrorism and law enforcement assistance programs.

The OSCE's field missions during 2003 included a presence in Albania, missions to Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatia, Kosovo, Serbia and Montenegro, and a monitor mission to Skopje. The organization was chaired by Jaap de Hoop Scheffer and, later, Bernard Rudolf Bot of the Netherlands during 2003.

2002

On 17 January, the new CIO of the OSCE, Portuguese foreign minister Jaime Gama, announced in his first speech to the Permanent Council that the fight against terrorism would be one of OSCE's priorities during the Portuguese Chairmanship in 2002. He announced his plan to appoint a Personal Representative on Terrorism and to elaborate a draft proposal for a possible OSCE Charter on Terrorism.

On 4-5 February, the OSCE held a workshop on the implementation of the OSCE Document on Small Arms and Light Weapons that was endorsed by the OSCE Ministerial Council meeting in November 2000. The workshop examined the results of the information exchange and offered a clearer picture of the implementation of the document. It also helped to develop "best practice" guidelines on weapons marking, export policies, and weapons destruction. The participating States examined how the document can contribute to the fight against terrorism,

On 25 March, the OSCE, in cooperation with the French Foreign Ministry, held a two-day seminar on the socio-economic impact of disarmament in Paris. The three main topics of the seminar were 1) measurement of the macroeconomic impact of disarmament, and the related question of evaluation of peace dividends; 2) the question of conversion to peaceful purposes in its different aspects; and 3) management of the process.

On 12 June, senior officials from the UN, NATO, the EU, and the Council of Europe met at the invitation of the OSCE Chairmanship to discuss coordinating international efforts in the fight against terrorism. The high-level representatives addressed cooperation in preventing and combating terrorism at the international level, as well as the promotion and protection of human rights and strengthening the rule of law.

On 6 September, the OSCE hosted a meeting with other organizations in the OSCE region to discuss practical ways of improving cooperation and coordination of efforts in the fight against terrorism. More than 25 organizations were presented, ranging from the Council of Baltic Sea States to the Central Asian Cooperation Organization and the Southeast European Cooperation Initiative.

On 22 February the Parliamentary Winter Session took place in Vienna. On 6 July, the 11th OSCE Parliamentary Assembly held its annual session in Berlin.

2001

In December, the OSCE and the United Nations Office for Drug Control and Crime Prevention (UN ODCCP) held a Conference in Bishkek, Kyrgystan on preventing and countering terrorism. The meeting was concluded with the adoption of a Declaration and a Program of Action. The aim of this Program is to develop concrete steps to be undertaken by the participating States and organizations to effectively prevent and counter terrorism. According to Mircea Geoana, the OSCE CIO and Romanian foreign minister, "this conference has taken the first step to follow up the OSCE Bucharest Action Plan for combating terrorism by drawing up the Program of Action which this Conference has adopted."

From 2-4 December, the Ninth Meeting of the Ministerial Council was held in Vienna. The meeting concluded with agreement on a Ministerial Declaration and the adoption of a broad-ranging Action Plan on counter-terrorism measures. Within the declaration, the participating States affirm their determination to address the threats to security and stability in the 21st century: "We request that the Permanent Council (of the OSCE) develop a strategy for the OSCE to do its part to counter these threats." The declaration also expresses the determination of Member States to protect citizens from new challenges to their security, while at the same time safeguarding the rule of law, individual liberties, and the right to equal justice under the law.

Other decisions made at the Ministerial Council included confirming that the Netherlands would assume the OSCE Chairmanship in 2003 (after Portugal, which took over the chair on 1 January 2002), the agreement to hold the next Ministerial Council in Porto, Portugal in autumn 2002, and the extension of Secretary General Jan Kubis' term of office for an additional three years.

The Ministerial Council also welcomed the Concluding Document on Article V of Annex 1-B of the Dayton Peace Accords, to provide for security and stability in the former Yugoslavia and its neighboring territories. A central part of this document is a set of voluntary confidence-and security-building measures, which came into effect on 1 January 2002. This is the last of three instruments that the OSCE was mandated to elaborate and implement by the Peace Accords.

2000

On 3-5 April, the OSCE Forum for Security Cooperation (FSC) organized a seminar on small arms and light weapons. This seminar, which was attended by more than 220 participants from OSCE participating States, as well as a number of international organizations and NGOs, has produced a significant number of proposals and suggestions.

At its 308th Plenary Meeting on 24 November, the OSCE FSC adopted a Document on Small Arms and Light Weapons, in which the participating States agreed to cooperate on the issue of the excessive and destabilizing accumulation and uncontrolled spread of small arms and to develop norms, principles, and measures covering all aspects of the issue. They committed themselves to combat illicit trafficking in all its aspects through the adoption and implementation of national controls on small arms; contribute to the reduction and prevention of the excessive and destabilizing accumulation and uncontrolled spread of small arms; exercise due restraint to ensure that small arms are produced, transferred, and held only in accordance with legitimate defense and security needs; build confidence, security, and transparency through appropriate measures on small arms; and develop appropriate measures on small arms at the end of armed conflicts including their collection, safe storage, and destruction linked to the disarmament, demobilization, and reintegration of combatants. The participating States agreed on national control measures over the manufacture of small arms, common export criteria, management, and reduction or destruction of stockpiles, and on early warning, conflict prevention, crisis management and post-crisis rehabilitation measures.

1999

On 16 November, the FSC adopted the Vienna Document of 1999 dealing with regional security issues. In that document, the FSC encouraged participating States to complement the CSBM regime with measures tailored to specific regional needs. The Vienna Document improved current CSBM and emphasized the importance of regional cooperation.

The Istanbul Summit Document of 1999 welcomed the successful adaptation of the Treaty on Conventional Armed Forces in Europe, which would provide for a stricter system of limitations, increased transparency, and lower levels of conventional armed forces and adoption of the 1999 Vienna Document on CSBM. The participants also welcomed the decision of the FSC to launch a broad and comprehensive discussion on all aspects of the problem of the spread of small arms and light weapons and to study concrete measures to deal with this issue.

The Open Skies Treaty was further endorsed and its early entry into force was urged. In addition, the document reaffirmed support for international cooperation in promoting global humanitarian action against anti-personnel mines, including promoting mine clearance activities, mine awareness programs, and the care, rehabilitation, and social and economic reintegration of mine victims.

1998

The Seventh Ministerial Council meeting of the OSCE, held in Oslo on 2-3 December, reaffirmed the participating States' commitment to arms control as an important element of their common security. They also reaffirmed the importance of the CFE treaty as a cornerstone of European security, stressed that full implementation of the treaty and its adaptation to the changing security environment in Europe would be an essential contribution to their common and indivisible security and welcomed the commitment made by the States Parties to complete the adaptation process by the time of the OSCE Summit in 1999. The States Parties reaffirmed the significance of the Open Skies Treaty and the necessity of its entry into force without delay.

1997

The provisions of the Principles Governing Conventional Arms Transfers document adopted at the November 1993 FSC meeting were reinforced by the introduction of an annual exchange of information of transfers of weapons and equipment systems.

In September, the follow-up conference to review possible ways and means of bringing about the improved implementation of the Code of Conduct on politico-military aspects of security was held. At the conference, the participating States reported on their process of implementation of the Code's provisions and discussed means to strengthen its implementation and enhance its wider and more consistent application.

The Sixth OSCE Ministerial Council meeting, held in Copenhagen on 18-19 December, confirmed the importance of implementation of existing arms control and confidence- and security-building measures as well as their adaptation to the new security environment. Its participants also underlined the continued significance of the CFE treaty as a cornerstone of European security, and the importance of the Vienna Document and the Code of Conduct on politico-military aspects of security.

1996

The Lisbon Summit Document of 1996 stated that arms control constitutes an important element of common security and that the CFE would remain critical to security and stability. The FSC adopted two decisions defining new directions for further work, "A Framework for Arms Control," which aimed to create a web of interlocking and mutually reinforcing arms control obligations that would give expression to the principle of indivisible security. It also provided guidelines for future arms control negotiations, including sufficiency, transparency through information exchange, verification, and where necessary, limitation on forces.

The Summit also adopted the document "Development of the Agenda of the Forum for Security Cooperation," outlining priority issues to be addressed by the Forum, including implementation of arms control measures and development of a web of arms control agreements. It recalled the Budapest Decision of 1994 on the significance, entry into force, and implementation of the Open Skies Treaty. In addition, it called for ending illegal arms supplies, in particular to zones of conflict, as a major contribution not only to regional, but also, global security.

1995

On 1 January, pursuant to the decision of the 1994 Budapest Summit Document of 1994, the new name, the Organization of Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE), became effective to reflect the dramatic growth of its role in shaping the European common security area.

The participants of the Fifth OSCE Ministerial Council meeting, held in Budapest on 7-8 December, discussed and welcomed the OSCE's intensive, ongoing work on a common and comprehensive security model for Europe for the 21st century. They decided on objectives, guidelines, and organization for future work on a security model. The chair noted that the OSCE Forum for Security Co-operation worked on an Arms Control Framework outlining future arms control priorities. In spite of expectations that the Framework would be concluded by the time of the Ministerial Council meeting, he said, further negotiations were required.

1994

The Vienna Document adopted by the 91st Plenary Meeting of the Special Committee of the FSC, held in Budapest on 28 November, expanded and strengthened previously agreed upon provisions of the CSBM regime by introducing additional thresholds for notification and observation, and provisions regarding defense planning and military contacts.

The FSC also adopted the Document on Principles Governing Non-Proliferation, providing support for existing international WMD nonproliferation agreements, and providing for an obligation to reflect the existing commitments in national legislation, regulation, and procedures.

The Budapest Summit Document of 1994 stated that, in view of the new threats posed by the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction, the Heads of State or Governments agreed on basic principles to guide their national policies in support of common nonproliferation objectives and stated that they are strongly committed to the full implementation and indefinite and unconditional extension of the Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT). The participating States reaffirmed their commitment to prevent the proliferation of nuclear weapons; to prevent the acquisition, development, production, stockpiling, and use of chemical and biological weapons; to control the transfer of missiles capable of delivering weapons of mass destruction and their components and technology.

The participants stated that the OSCE would be a primary instrument for early warning, conflict prevention, and crisis management in the region. They may, in exceptional circumstances, jointly decide that a dispute will be referred to the UN Security Council on behalf of the Forum on Security and Cooperation in Europe.

The Summit participants also adopted the Code of Conduct on politico-military aspects of security, which reaffirmed and reiterated their determination to act in solidarity in case of violation of the CSCE norms and commitments and to facilitate the concerted response to security challenges. The Code also broke new ground by formulating norms regarding the role of armed forces in democratic societies.

1993

The 49th Plenary meeting of the FSC held in Vienna on 25 November, adopted several important documents. The "Principles Governing Conventional Arms Transfers" document introduced principles designed to guide arms transfers and determine whether certain arms transfers should be avoided. The Military Contact and Cooperation Program dealt with exchanges and visits between members of armed forces, joint military exercises and training, visits to military facilities, seminars on co-operation, etc. The Document on Defense Planning required States to provide information about their defense policies and doctrines, force planning, budgets, etc. The Forum also conducted negotiations on the development of the CSBM regime, resulting in the adoption of the Vienna Document of 1994.

The participants at the Fourth CSCE Ministerial Council meeting held in Rome on 30 November-1 December underlined the importance of the work of the FSC. They encouraged completion of the Program for Immediate Action, including the proposal to establish a Code of Conduct.

1992

The CSCE Helsinki Summit Document of 1992 spelled out these major objectives with respect to arms control and nonproliferation: to give impetus to the process of arms control, disarmament and confidence- and security-building, to enhance consultation and cooperation on security matters and to the further the process of reducing the risk of conflict; to take further steps to stop the proliferation of weapons; to ensure the nonproliferation of nuclear weapons and relevant technology and expertise; and to intensify cooperation in the field of effective export controls applicable to nuclear materials, conventional weapons, and other sensitive goods and technologies.

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About

The OSCE is the world’s largest security organization with 56 member states. It deals with a wide range of security-related concerns, including arms control, nonproliferation, counterterrorism, democratization, and human rights.

This material is produced independently for NTI by the James Martin Center for Nonproliferation Studies at the Middlebury Institute of International Studies at Monterey and does not necessarily reflect the opinions of and has not been independently verified by NTI or its directors, officers, employees, or agents. Copyright 2017.