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13 January 2016

Key Issues of the German OSCE Chairmanship 2016

Assuming the OSCE Chairmanship in such stormy times is a sign of Germany's strong commitment to making an active contribution to peace and security in Europe. More than 40 years after the adoption of the Helsinki Final Act, fundamental pillars of international order in Europe have been shaken by the force of arms, mutual distrust and competing narratives. Long-standing principles of the European security order have been broken and challenged; borders and the territorial integrity of states have been violated.

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13 January 2016

Ukraine, Protracted Conflicts and the OSCE

Aspects of the Ukraine crisis present enormous problems for the future of osce and other international conflict mediation. Annexation, "hybrid" warfare, the proliferation of non-recognized separatist polities, the absence of a shared baseline of facts and, therefore, the sharp divergence of narratives, and perhaps most of all, the development of fortress mentalities – all of these have challenged the "Helsinki acquis" on which the osce is based.

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SHR Monitor

27 October 2016

Ukraine at the center of discussions of the Normandy Format in Berlin

Leaders of the Normandy Format (Germany, France, Russia and Ukraine) met in Berlin on 19 October to discuss the crisis in Ukraine. The situation in Syria was also on the agenda, but it was discussed only among Germany, France and Russia. Regarding Ukraine three key issues emerged from the talks in Berlin. First, leaders agreed to work out a roadmap for the implementation of the Minsk Agreements by the end of November. Second, leaders failed to extend disengagement areas in eastern Ukraine. Third, the possibility of an armed OSCE police mission, that could be part of a larger plan to ensure the security of local elections in Donbas, was raised. 

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10 October 2016

OSCE Mediterranean Conference highlights the important role of Libya in managing common security challenges

On 5 and 6 October the OSCE Mediterranean Conference took place in Vienna, Austria. The Mediterranean Conference is a yearly, high-level gathering that brings together all 57 OSCE participating States with the OSCE Mediterranean Partners for Cooperation, that include Algeria, Egypt, Israel, Jordan, Morocco and Tunisia. As the incoming OSCE Chair, Austria was in the lead of this year's Mediterranean Conference, which was focused on "Youth North and South of the Mediterranean: Facing Security Challenges and Enhancing Opportunities". The topic of the conference was very timely, given the pressing security challenges that have an impact both north and south of the Mediterranean, which include terrorism, migration, violent extremism and radicalization, especially among youth. The conference provided a good platform for dialogue and an opportunity to exchange best practices and lessons learned on the most pressing topics. Given Libya's important role in all of the above, especially regarding managing migration flows towards Europe, Austrian Foreign Minister Sebastian Kurz took the initiative to invite Mr. Mohammed Taher Siala, Libya's Foreign Minister of the Government of National Accord, to the high-level conference.

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SHR Special Issue:

The German OSCE Chairmanship 2016


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External publications

Foreign Election Observers to Cast their Eyes on the US Presidential Vote

By Carol Morello

Washington Post

5 October 2016


Reviving Arms Control in Europe

By Frank-Walter Steinmeier, German Foreign Minister

Project Syndicate

26 August 2016


Keeping an International Eye on Ukraine

By Daniel Baer, US Ambassador to the OSCE

The Wall Street Journal

16 August 2016

Tweets from SHRblog
  • 27-10-2016  Ukraine at the center of discussions of the Normandy Format in Berlin: Leaders of the Normandy Format (German...

  • 27-10-2016  RT @OSCE_SMM: Hug: Joint Centre for Control & Co-ordination (JCCC) can co-ordinate disengagement in eastern #Ukraine; now it must do it

  • 27-10-2016  RT @OSCE_SMM: Hug: If there had been more JCCC co-ordination on demining/mine clearance, perhaps some injuries SMM saw this week could have…

  • 27-10-2016  #Ukraine at the center of #Normandyfour talks in Berlin @GER_OSCE @OSCE @OSCE_SMM @poroshenko @RP_France_OSCE…

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