Latest Journals

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

1 July 2016

The possible impact of the Brexit vote on the OSCE

This article argues that the post-Brexit EU has to work hard to maintain its economic power and political leverage in the world. A strong EU is important within the OSCE context, where the Union speaks with one voice and thus has substantial political authority and weight. This authority has to be maintained, especially with regard to the EU's relations with Russia and many other issues that are decided and discussed within the OSCE context.

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21 June 2016

At the Frontlines of Peace: Should the OSCE send Armed Personnel to eastern Ukraine?

In recent weeks, confusing information appeared in the international media on the OSCE deploying armed personnel or an armed OSCE police mission to eastern Ukraine, in an endeavor to ensure the security of possible local elections in the Donbas region at some point in the future. This article stresses that currently there is no indication that a formal agreement on this topic has been reached, and that any form of armed security provider can only be deployed once the 57 OSCE states take a formal decision on this by consensus. It should not be ignored that the single most important precondition for holding local elections in eastern Ukraine is a permissive security environment that enables the OSCE Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights (ODIHR) to observe the elections in line with its standards.

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SHR Special Issue:

The German OSCE Chairmanship 2016


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External publications

OSCE Peace Operations: Soft Security in Hard Environments

By Walter Kemp, Vice President and Chief Operating Officer

International Peace Institute


Although the OSCE has a mandate for peacekeeping, it has not undertaken peacekeeping operations per se. Nonetheless, it has carried out a diverse and extensive range of activities that fall within what have been described as "peace operations." These have included verification, monitoring, and observation missions, particularly the Special Monitoring Mission (SMM) in Ukraine. Taking into account lessons from the OSCE's engagement in Ukraine, geopolitical shifts in the OSCE area, and debates within the UN on more effective conflict prevention and an enhanced role for regional arrangements, what are the future prospects for OSCE peace operations?

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