All Articles containing the tag: SWISS OSCE CHAIRMANSHIP

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Security and Human Rights Monitor


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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Guest Blog Entry: Norms in mediation processes: Too much of a good thing?
Photo: complize/photocase.de
26 January 2015 - Mediation Team at swisspeace - 1

Guest Blog Entry: Norms in mediation processes: Too much of a good thing?

In 2014, the Swiss OSCE Chairmanship listed mediation as one of their key priorities in order to strengthen the OSCE's mediation capacities for the processes they support. The expectations towards mediation processes are growing: not only are mediators supposed to bring a conflict to an end, but they are also increasingly asked to integrate gender, human rights, justice and other norms into their overall strategy. The development and adoption of guidance documents for mediators (such as the UN Guidance for Effective Mediation adopted by the UN General Assembly in 2012, or the launch of the OSCE Reference Guide for Mediation and Dialogue in 2014) signals the growing imperative for normative frameworks in practice. The institutional policies of the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE), the European Union (EU), and other regional bodies are increasingly value-based, inevitably impacting the way they expect the mediators to do their work.

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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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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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LIVE BLOG: Genuine dialogue or a series of monologues?
Photo: Stephanie Liechtenstein
4 December 2014 - Stephanie Liechtenstein - 0

LIVE BLOG: Genuine dialogue or a series of monologues?

 Today 53 foreign ministers attended the opening and first session of the OSCE Ministerial Council (MC) meeting in Basel. The first day of the MC meeting revealed that eastern and western OSCE states have fundamentally differing views on the root causes of the Ukraine crisis, however they seem to agree that the crisis has been aggravated by an erosion of trust among them.

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