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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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Debate & Blogs

5 May 2016

Nagorno-Karabakh: A dangerous conflict that could spiral out of control

On 2 April, fighting broke out in the Nagorno-Karabakh region, killing well over a hundred people in the space of four days and reigniting a 'frozen' conflict that has been going on between Armenians and Azerbaijanis for almost three decades. This recent military escalation shows that there is a real risk for this 'frozen' conflict to remain 'hot' for a while. Another, more serious military confrontation may in fact be imminent. There is also a risk for Russia and Turkey to be drawn into a proxy war. Hence, a diplomatic push is needed to help diffuse tensions. The OSCE, under the leadership of its current German Chairmanship, should therefore come to the forefront with strong initiatives, together with the OSCE Minsk Group Co-Chairs.

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4 April 2016

The OSCE’s Pioneering Work on Cyber Security

On 10 March, the 57 OSCE participating States unanimously adopted a landmark decision on Confidence-Building Measures (CBMs) for the cyber space. The decision No. 1202 entitled 'OSCE Confidence-Building Measures to Reduce the Risks of Conflict Stemming from the Use of Information and Communication Technologies' was adopted by the OSCE Permanent Council and expands a previous set of cyber security CBMs, adopted by the OSCE in 2013. The latest decision on CBMs for the cyber space is indeed of particular significance as the OSCE is to date the only regional security organization that has succeeded in adopting such a comprehensive set of CBMs in the cyber domain. What makes the decision even more ground-breaking is the fact that it was adopted unanimously by 57 states that actually hold very diverse opinions and policies regarding the cyber space.

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SHR Special Issue:

The German OSCE Chairmanship 2016


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  • 18-05-2016  RT @GER_OSCE: #Steinmeier on #NagornoKarabakh:Encouraged by renewed commitment of both Presidents to ceasefire+new round of talks https://…

  • 18-05-2016  RT @GER_OSCE: .@OSCE Business Conference on 'Connectivity for Commerce & Investment' w participants from 70 states. More:…

  • 18-05-2016  RT @GER_OSCE: First panel of #OSCE Business conference. Economic Connectivity: opportunities for cooperation&security?…

  • 18-05-2016  RT @GER_OSCE: CiO #Steinmeier opening conference on #connectivity for comnerce and investment. Over 800 delegates from business and governm…

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