All Articles containing the tag: FRANK-WALTER STEINMEIER

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Security and Human Rights Monitor


13 January 2017 - Stephanie Liechtenstein - 0

Conventional Arms control and dialogue on European security major topics for Austrian OSCE Chairmanship

Conventional arms control is considered the cornerstone of European security. The main international document in this context is the Treaty on Conventional Armed Forces in Europe (CFE Treaty), which was negotiated during the final years of the Cold War, and which set equal limits on the amount of conventional weapons that NATO and the Warsaw Pact could deploy. The CFE Treaty led to the destruction of tens of thousands of heavy weapons in Europe in the years following 1990.

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Building Trust in a Turbulent Year: Germany’s 2016 OSCE Chairmanship
Photo: OSCE
22 December 2016 - Christian Nünlist* - 0

Building Trust in a Turbulent Year: Germany’s 2016 OSCE Chairmanship

The OSCE Ministerial Council (MC) meeting, held in Hamburg on 8 and 9 December, was the final highlight of Germany's 2016 OSCE Chairmanship. At the opening session, OSCE Chairperson-in-Office (CiO), German Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier compared the OSCE to a lighthouse to guide the course of the organization in turbulent times. The metaphor of "turbulent times" was used in almost every OSCE speech Steinmeier gave in 2016. In such stormy times, the OSCE offers a platform for dialogue and cooperation.

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New Window of Opportunity in the Transdniestrian Settlement Process
Photo: OSCE
5 August 2016 - Stephanie Liechtenstein - 0

New Window of Opportunity in the Transdniestrian Settlement Process

On 2 and 3 June the so-called 5+2 talks on the conflict between Moldova and its breakaway region of Transdniestria resumed in Berlin after a two year hiatus. The current German OSCE Chairmanship was instrumental in helping to re-launch the negotiations, which include Moldova and Transdniestria as the conflict parties, Russia, Ukraine and the OSCE as mediators and guarantors, and the USA and the EU as observers. In an effort to inject further impetus into the talks, on 26 and 27 July, the OSCE Chairperson-in-Office, German Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier, traveled to Moldova to hold high-level talks. This blog argues that the resumption of the 5+2 talks has opened a window of opportunity for progress to be achieved on the implementation of key confidence-building measures between now and autumn, when both Moldova and Transdniestria will hold presidential elections. The momentum should not be lost, since tensions in the region have increased significantly since the outbreak of the Ukraine crisis in 2014.

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Nagorno-Karabakh: A dangerous conflict that could spiral out of control
Photo: OSCE/Alexander Nitzsche
5 May 2016 - Stephanie Liechtenstein - 0

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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Germany takes over OSCE Chairmanship in “stormy times”, says Frank-Walter Steinmeier
Photo: Stephanie Liechtenstein
20 January 2016 - Stephanie Liechtenstein - 0

Germany takes over OSCE Chairmanship in “stormy times”, says Frank-Walter Steinmeier

On 14 January, German Foreign Minister and OSCE Chairperson-in-Office, Frank-Walter Steinmeier, presented the priorities of the German OSCE Chairmanship to OSCE delegations in Vienna. The address by the new OSCE Chairperson-in-Office (CiO) to the OSCE Permanent Council at the beginning of the year is an annual event. This year, the Permanent Council meeting room was packed with journalists, diplomats and high-ranking officials who eagerly awaited OSCE CiO Steinmeier's inaugural speech. Among them was Ukrainian Foreign Minister Pavlov Klimkin, who - through his attendance - underscored the important role of the OSCE in the management of the Ukraine crisis. Indeed, one could sense that a "political heavyweight" was taking over the Chairmanship, as Germany is "by far the most powerful OSCE participating State that has ever held the presidency of the organization". In this article, it will be argued that Germany should use its OSCE Chairmanship to offset the weaknesses of the EU and NATO in dealing with the Ukraine crisis. In its capacity as OSCE Chair, Germany presides over an organization with a broad membership and in which Russia is an equal partner. Germany can thus deal with Moscow in a more balanced way, not overshadowed by EU sanctions or military rhetoric. This may open new possibilities to ease tensions.

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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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