All Articles containing the tag: DIDIER BURKHALTER

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Security and Human Rights Monitor


OSCE receives Ewald von Kleist Award at Munich Security Conference
Photo: Mueller/MSC
9 February 2015 - Stephanie Liechtenstein - 0

OSCE receives Ewald von Kleist Award at Munich Security Conference

This year, the Munich Security Conference presented the Ewald von Kleist Award to the OSCE for its "contribution to peace, stability and security in Europe, particularly its efforts regarding the Special Monitoring Mission to Ukraine as well as its diplomatic attempts to end the crisis." The Award is named after Ewald von Kleist, who founded the Munich Security Conference in 1963 and chaired it until 1998. Ewald von Kleist was active in the German resistance to Nazism and was also part of the 20 July 1944 plot to kill Adolf Hitler. The prize was accepted by the Foreign Ministers of the OSCE Troika, Serbia, Switzerland and Germany as well as by the OSCE Secretary General.

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Guest Blog Entry: OSCE Crisis Management in the Ukraine Crisis
Photo: OSCE/Joana Karapataqi
18 December 2014 - Christian Nünlist, Center for Security Studies (CSS), ETH Zurich - 1

Guest Blog Entry: OSCE Crisis Management in the Ukraine Crisis

The Ukraine crisis has dominated the Swiss OSCE Chairmanship in 2014. Switzerland had well prepared its second OSCE presidency (after 1996). In cooperation with Belgrade, Switzerland had presented ten priorities in mid-2013. Yet, most of the planned activities suddenly became less relevant with the outbreak of a serious crisis in and around Ukraine. As Chairperson-in-Office, Swiss President Didier Burkhalter at once declared his readiness to assist the conflict parties in finding a solution to the crisis. At their Ministerial Council in 2011, OSCE states had agreed to strengthen OSCE crisis management capabilities. The Ukraine crisis thus was the first real test case for implementation of the Vilnius Decision No. 3 and an opportunity for the OSCE to play a more constructive role than during the Russian-Georgian war (2008) and the crisis in Kyrgyzstan (2010) where political consensus for effective OSCE action had been lacking.

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The upcoming OSCE Ministerial Council in Basel: A chance for high-level engagement
Photo: OSCE/Mikhail Evstafiev
25 November 2014 - Stephanie Liechtenstein - 0

The upcoming OSCE Ministerial Council in Basel: A chance for high-level engagement

The 21st OSCE Ministerial Council (MC) meeting is scheduled to take place on 4 and 5 December in Basel, Switzerland. The MC meeting, which takes place once a year in the host country of the OSCE Chairmanship, is attended by the foreign ministers or their representatives of the 57 OSCE participating States. The meetings are an opportunity to discuss the Organization's yearly achievements and should provide overall guidance and impetus for future work. The MC is mandated to take decisions on any topic relevant to the work of the OSCE. This year, the MC meeting will be dominated by the Ukraine crisis and its impact on commitments contained in the 1975 Helsinki Final Act and the 2010 Astana Declaration. It is, however, necessary to manage expectations of what can be achieved in concrete terms at the MC with regard to the Ukraine crisis. Foreign ministers will certainly not solve the crisis in Basel.

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An 'informal OSCE Ministerial Council meeting' on the margins of the UN General Assembly?
Photo: OSCE/Isabella Zaratsyan
24 September 2014 - Stephanie Liechtenstein - 0

An 'informal OSCE Ministerial Council meeting' on the margins of the UN General Assembly?

In his capacity as OSCE Chairperson-in-Office, Swiss Foreign Minister Didier Burkhalter, who is also the President of Switzerland, will organize a side-event on the margins of the 69th Session of the United Nations (UN) General Assembly that is currently taking place in New York City. During the so-called high-level week, more than 140 heads of state or government as well as ministers gather in New York at the UN headquarters overlooking the East River. This is an excellent opportunity to test the ground for possible consensus decisions or statements on the issues of the Ukraine crisis, the role of the OSCE and European security in general, to be adopted at the upcoming OSCE Ministerial Council (MC) meeting in Basel in December.

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A permanent Swiss Chairmanship for the OSCE – a viable suggestion?
Photo: OSCE/Micky Kroell
28 July 2014 - Stephanie Liechtenstein - 0

A permanent Swiss Chairmanship for the OSCE – a viable suggestion?

The current crisis in Ukraine has demonstrated the importance of an effective OSCE leadership. The eruption of an acute crisis in the OSCE area demands swift reaction and political leadership that can help broker consensus decisions among all 57 OSCE participating States - even when the pressure is high. In this context, the guest blog entry of 25 June 2014 by Maximilian Stern and David Svarin from the Swiss think tank 'foraus' is timely as it raises the important issue of the sustainability of the OSCE political leadership, especially in crisis situations. This is a reply to the guest blog entry by 'foraus' and a critical comment on whether their suggestion to introduce a permanent Swiss OSCE Chairmanship is viable.

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Can the OSCE help to settle the political crisis in Ukraine?
Photo: FDFA / Presence Switzerland
15 February 2014 - Stephanie Liechtenstein - 0

Can the OSCE help to settle the political crisis in Ukraine?

The leaked recording of a phone call last week between Victoria Nuland, assistant secretary of state for European and Eurasian affairs at the US State Department and Geoffrey Pyatt, US ambassador to Ukraine unequivocally revealed US frustration with the EU’s handling of the political crisis in Ukraine. The expletive used by Victoria Nuland to vent her anger leaves no doubt in this regard. The recording also highlighted Washington’s preference for a stronger engagement of the UN and Secretary General Ban Ki-moon’s special envoy to “help glue this thing”. Certainly there are arguments for and against an increased UN role in Ukraine.

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