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Speaker Events - Friday, September 23, 2011

Lamberto Zannier: Why We Need the OSCE

Lamberto Zannier, the new Secretary-General of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) told an IPI audience on September 23rd that one of the questions he has been asked since assuming his post on July 1st was why the OSCE was needed when Europe already has the European Union and NATO. 


He said he told people that the need was “quite visible. The EU is a group of countries that do share a very strong political agenda, a very strong integration agenda that come together and that want to move in the same direction. NATO, in a similar way, brings together countries that share a vision and an agenda at the defense level.” 


“But the OSCE is broader than all that,” he explained. “In the OSCE, you have countries that have different political priorities, different security or defense agendas. It is a larger framework within which countries in fact, with different objectives and different agendas confront each other and try to solve their problems by using this agreed set of principles, norms and commitments.”


He added that the 56-state group, with countries from Europe, Central Asia and North America, was looking to extend its influence beyond the borders of the OSCE region.


And while its focus was on interaction between the various actors in the region and with external partners, he said the organization is also concerned with “the security of the individuals, at the dignity of the individual and their fundamental freedom. Working with individuals improves security within countries and more broadly,” he said.


Moderating the discussion was IPI Senior Adviser Warren Hoge.

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