All Articles containing the tag: HELSINKI+40 PROCESS

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Security and Human Rights Monitor


The 22nd OSCE Ministerial Council in Belgrade: An Anniversary without Celebration
Photo: MFA Serbia
17 December 2015 - Stephanie Liechtenstein - 0

The 22nd OSCE Ministerial Council in Belgrade: An Anniversary without Celebration

On 3 and 4 December 2015, the yearly OSCE Ministerial Council (MC) meeting took place in Belgrade, Serbia. The MC meeting, which is attended by foreign ministers or their representatives of the 57 OSCE participating States, provides an opportunity to discuss the Organization's yearly achievements and gives 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's meeting in Belgrade was attended by 42 foreign ministers. The meeting was characterized by entrenched positions and it illustrated the distrust and deep divide among participating States. The Belgrade MC adopted only 5 declarations, among them on combating violent extremism and radicalization and on combating illicit drug trafficking. The fact that states were able to create consensus only on such a small number of declarations is due to the divergent views participating States hold on the root causes of the Ukraine conflict. The deep divide that this conflict has created among participating States of the OSCE had a negative influence on negotiations. In addition, a number of bilateral conflicts between states negatively influenced and overshadowed the negotiation process. In fact, a small number of states allowed their differences over other conflicts take a direct influence on the OSCE negotiation process. 

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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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Panel of Eminent Persons Report on Ukraine: A Lot of Validity but no Real Novelty
Photo: Stephanie Liechtenstein
6 July 2015 - Stephanie Liechtenstein - 0

Panel of Eminent Persons Report on Ukraine: A Lot of Validity but no Real Novelty

On 16 and 17 June, the Core Group Meeting of the Munich Security Conference (MSC) took place in Vienna, Austria. The meeting brought together an impressive amount of high-ranking participants from governments, the private sector, media and academia, who discussed in an off-the-record setting a number of pressing, international issues. On the margins of that conference, Ambassador Wolfgang Ischinger presented to the media the OSCE Panel of Eminent Persons interim report on 'lessons learned for the OSCE from its engagement in Ukraine'. After it was not possible to reach consensus on establishing a Panel of Eminent Persons at the OSCE Ministerial Council in Basle last December, the Panel of fifteen experts was nevertheless formed and was tasked by the 2015 Troika (Switzerland, Serbia and Germany) to reconsolidate European security as a common project. The Panel's interim report provides recommendations on the following five topics: (i) conflict prevention; (ii) leadership; (iii) need for a legal personality; (iv) primacy of politics; (v) capacity and cooperation.

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Online Debate on How to Reinvigorate Euro-Atlantic/Eurasian Security: Input to the Final Report of the OSCE Panel of Eminent Persons
Photo: MSC/Mueller
27 May 2015 - Stephanie Liechtenstein - 2

Online Debate on How to Reinvigorate Euro-Atlantic/Eurasian Security: Input to the Final Report of the OSCE Panel of Eminent Persons

At the 2014 OSCE Ministerial Council meeting in Basel, the then Swiss OSCE Chairmanship - in close cooperation with the incoming Serbian and German Chairs - launched a Panel of Eminent Persons. This Panel was mandated to elaborate recommendations on how to reconsolidate European security as a 'common project' in view of the crisis in and around Ukraine and the crisis of European security in general. The original aim of the Swiss Chairmanship was to launch the Panel by consensus of the 57 OSCE participating States. Yet, despite broad support from participating States, a group of states had reservations and doubts about the Panel's usefulness.

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Thinking Out of the Box: OSCE Network of Think Tanks develops Options for Future OSCE Field Activities
Photo: OSCE/Evgeniy Maloletka
29 December 2014 - Stephanie Liechtenstein - 0

Thinking Out of the Box: OSCE Network of Think Tanks develops Options for Future OSCE Field Activities

On 3 December, the OSCE Network of Think Tanks and Academic Institutions presented a study on "the Future of OSCE Field Operations (Options)" at a side event during the 2014 OSCE Parallel Civil Society Conference in Basel. The Network consists of around 30 institutions and it describes itself as "an autonomous OSCE-related track II initiative." The Network's study should be seen in the context of the Helsinki+40 reform discussions, which have been going on since 2012 and which also include a debate on how OSCE field activities could be adapted in the context of a changing security environment.

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LIVE BLOG: 21st OSCE Ministerial Council meeting consolidates role of the OSCE as a forum for dialogue between East and West
Photo: OSCE
5 December 2014 - Stephanie Liechtenstein - 0

LIVE BLOG: 21st OSCE Ministerial Council meeting consolidates role of the OSCE as a forum for dialogue between East and West

The 21st Ministerial Council (MC) meeting in Basel revealed that eastern and western OSCE states have fundamentally differing views on Euro-Atlantic security in general and on the root causes of the Ukraine crisis in particular (see previous blog). The meeting also showed that both sides are not ready to compromise on their respective views. Western states want to firmly uphold fundamental OSCE principles. They believe that the principles and commitments are not up for renegotiation – instead their implementation should be enhanced. The Russian Federation on the other hand continues to refer to the principle of non-intervention in its internal affairs.

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