All Articles containing the tag: GERMAN OSCE CHAIRMANSHIP

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Security and Human Rights Monitor


Five Takeaways from the OSCE (In)Security Days in Prague
Photo: OSCE/Lubomir Kotek
31 May 2017 - Christian Nuenlist* - 0

Five Takeaways from the OSCE (In)Security Days in Prague

The official motto of the OSCE Security Days in Prague on 18-19 May 2017 was "Countering fragmentation and polarization" with the aim of "re-creating a climate for stability in Europe". The "OSCE Security Days" are OSCE Secretary General Lamberto Zannier's brainchild. He launched this particular dialogue forum in June 2012 with the aim of bringing together experts from government, think tanks and academic institutions, civil society, youth, and media to engage in an informal and interactive discussion on 21st-century threats and challenges. Here are five takeaways from the conference.

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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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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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The Upcoming OSCE Ministerial Council Meeting in Belgrade: No Reason to Celebrate
Photo: adamr/FreeDigitalPhotos.net
30 November 2015 - Stephanie Liechtenstein - 0

The Upcoming OSCE Ministerial Council Meeting in Belgrade: No Reason to Celebrate

The 22nd OSCE Ministerial Council (MC) will meet on 3 and 4 December in Belgrade, Serbia. The MC meeting, which takes place once a year in the country holding the OSCE Chairmanship, is attended by foreign ministers or their representatives from the 57 OSCE participating States as well as from the 11 Partners for Co-operation. The Belgrade MC meeting was originally supposed to be a significant meeting at which OSCE participating States had hoped to commemorate the 40th anniversary of the signing of the 1975 Helsinki Final Act with the successful conclusion of the so-called Helsinki+40 process and the adoption of a landmark OSCE document. Yet, OSCE states don't have much reason to celebrate in Belgrade, writes Stephanie Liechtenstein.

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