Panel Discussions - Wednesday, June 05, 2013
Switzerland Prepares for Chairmanship of the OSCE
IPI hosted a meeting in New York on June 5 to examine the role of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) as a regional arrangement of the United Nations under Chapter VIII of the UN Charter. The meeting, chaired by IPI’s Director for Europe and Central Asia Walter Kemp, featured the two ambassadors who will be guiding Switzerland’s chairmanship of the OSCE in 2014: Heidi Grau, head of Switzerland’s OSCE Chairmanship Task Force in Bern; and Thomas Greminger, who will chair the OSCE Permanent Council in Vienna.
With 57 participating states, the OSCE is the world’s largest regional organization, covering an area stretching from Vancouver to Vladivostok. In 2014, Switzerland will be the first country to chair the OSCE for the second time. In another unprecedented move, Switzerland will work closely with Serbia – which will have the chairmanship in 2015 – in order to share the burden and enable continuity.
At the meeting, Ambassador Greminger described the OSCE’s structures and activities. He focused in particular on interfaces between the OSCE and the UN, both in terms of geographic areas (such as the Caucasus and Central Asia), as well a thematic ones (such as conflict prevention and mediation, transnational threats, and the so-called “human dimension”).
Ambassdor Grau outlined some of the priorities of Switzerland’s in-coming chairmanship, including mediation (particularly in relation to settlement processes in Georgia, Moldova, and between Armenia and Azerbaijan), arms control, and confidence-building measures, as well as the “Helsinki+40” process which is trying to reform the OSCE in the build-up to the anniversary of the Helsinki Final Act, which was signed in 1975.
In a question-and-answer session, a number of issues were raised, including the OSCE’s cooperation with Afghanistan and countries of North Africa, the challenge of generating political will and building consensus, cyber security, the future of OSCE field operations, and the potential for sharing the OSCE’s experience–for example, on national minority issues–with other regional organizations.
The Global Observatory
Firing Blanks: The Growing Irrelevance of the UN Small Arms Process
UN momentum toward stopping illicit arms trade seems to have slowed, but national gun control laws hint at the possibility of a successful bottom-up approach.
Key Global Events to Watch in August
A list of key upcoming meetings and events with implications for global affairs.
2014 Top 10 Issues to Watch in Peace & Security: The Global Arena
A list of ten key issues to watch that are likely to impact international peace and security in 2014, compiled by IPI's Francesco Mancini.
The Global Observatory, produced by IPI, provides timely analysis on peace and security issues, interviews with leading policymakers, interactive maps, and more.
August 25, 2014
High-Level Forum Examines Lessons of 1814 and 1914 for Today
2014 marks the centenary of the outbreak of World War One and the bicentenary of the opening of the Congress of Vienna–two dates that profoundly shaped the course of history.
August 22, 2014
Real World Lessons Inform 2014 IPI Course in Negotiation, Conflict Resolution
The 2014 Advanced Course in Negotiation and Conflict Resolution, held June 22-25, led an array of international diplomats through three days of in-depth lectures, negotiation and public speaking exercises.
July 17, 2014
EU and UN Seek Ways to Improve Cooperation in Peacekeeping
The European Union is among the strongest supporters of UN peacekeeping missions around the globe, but the growing challenges faced by UN-led operations have raised the need for better EU-UN cooperation, both on the ground and at the planning level.