Meeting Notes - December 06, 2011
Meeting Note: The OSCE-Mediterranean Partnership and the Arab Uprisings
Stephanie Liechtenstein, rapporteur
This meeting note summarizes discussions at an IPI workshop in Vienna, held on October 25, 2011, about how the uprisings and changes in the Arab world affect the partnership between the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE) and its Mediterranean Partners for Co-operation (MPCs). Based on the 1975 Helsinki Final Act, the OSCE has developed and intensified relations over the last two decades with six MPCs: Algeria, Egypt, Israel, Morocco, Tunisia, and, Jordan.
Today, the OSCE-Mediterranean partnership is based on a broad political framework. However, there has been a lot of form and little substance. Much of the focus has been on improving dialogue and on the voluntary implementation of OSCE commitments by partners, but there has been little practical cooperation. This meeting asked whether this is changing.
The first panel examined the current state of the OSCE-Mediterranean dialogue. Speakers provided an overview of the dialogue’s positive achievements and also addressed its shortcomings. Also, since the OSCE is one among a crowded field of players offering assistance to Mediterranean countries in transition, the need for close cooperation with partners was stressed. The importance of meaningful dialogue was also stressed, with emphasis on it being a "two-way street."
The second panel focused on the revolutions in the Arab world and examined the resulting geopolitical changes. Speakers discussed the relevance of "society," comparisons to the 1848 revolutions in Europe, and the impact of the uprisings in the "Greater Middle East." The third panel looked at whether the Helsinki process could be used as a model or a source of inspiration for promoting security, democracy, and development in North Africa and the Middle East. The idea of whether the Middle East needs its own Helsinki process was discussed.
The paper concludes that recent changes and events in the Arab world could give new momentum to the OSCE-Mediterranean partnership. It is therefore important that the OSCE makes use of this window of opportunity and seizes the moment.
The Global Observatory
Mandela, Pan-African Prophet
Adekeye Adebajo writes that Mandela's legacy will be his export of the pan-African spirit of ubuntu: the gift of discovering our shared humanity.
How Mandela’s Relentless Diplomacy Transformed South Africa
Former US Ambassador John Hirsch traces the path of Mandela's relentless diplomacy.
Key Global Events to Watch in December
A list of key upcoming meetings and events with implications for global affairs.
Top 10 Issues to Watch in 2013: The Multilateral Arena
Ten key issues that are likely to impact global affairs in international peace, security, and development.
The Global Observatory, produced by IPI, provides timely analysis on peace and security issues, interviews with leading policymakers, interactive maps, and more.
December 02, 2013
Latin America Focus of Fourth ''Being a Peacekeeper'' Event
On December 2-3, IPI brought together 24 representatives from eleven Latin American countries with senior officials from the UN Department of Peacekeeping Operations and the Department of Field Support to discuss the current state—as well as the future—of Latin American military and police contributions to UN peacekeeping operations.
November 28, 2013
Energy and Security in the Arctic: A New “Frozen” Conflict?
Is the Arctic a “region of cooperation,” or will competition for its potentially rich energy resources lead to conflict in the high north? This was the main question addressed during an expert workshop held in The Hague on November 28th by the International Peace Institute together with the International Gas Union and the Clingendael International Energy Programme.
November 22, 2013
Can Technology Play a Role in Drafting a Constitution?
The effects that new technologies can have on constitutional processes was the topic of this November 22nd IPI roundtable discussion. Approximately five new constitutions are written around the world every year, and their legitimacy is increasingly influenced by a new level of public participation in their drafting, not merely by a plebiscite on the final text. As rapidly advancing technology changes the way that governments and citizens interact, what role are new technologies playing in constitutions?
December 09, 2013
Heraldo Muñoz on Benazir Bhutto's Assassination
December 03, 2013
IPI Editor Adam Lupel Quoted on the Politics of Genocide [IRIN News]
November 26, 2013
Video: Addressing the Crisis in the Central African Republic