Security in Europe: Switzerland to Chair the OSCE in 2014


Federal Councillor Didier Burkhalter will Chair OSCE in 2014.

The Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) aims to bring about a free, democratic, and indivisible Euro-Atlantic and Eurasian security community.

Switzerland, which will assume the Chairmanship of the OSCE in 2014, will continue to foster security and stability and improve people´s lives in the entire OSCE region from Vancouver to Vladivostok. Particular emphasis will be given to the Western Balkans and the Southern Caucasus where Switzerland has traditionally played a role.

On December 9, twenty Azerbaijani judges were trained in best practices for handling anti-money laundering and countering financing of terrorism cases. The training illustrates one aspect of the work of the OSCE security community, stretching from Vancouver to Vladivostok. The OSCE’s activities are hands-on and cover three areas, from “hard” security issues to fostering economic development, ensuring the sustainable use of natural resources, and promoting full respect for human rights and fundamental freedoms. The OSCE serves more than a billion people in fifty-seven participating States, including Switzerland and the United States. Switzerland will assume the Chairmanship of the OSCE in 2014 and will bring to the table its experience and expertise in listening to all, the very basis of Switzerland´s consensus-oriented and inclusive political system. The geographical focus of Switzerland´s Chairmanship will be on the Western Balkans and the South Caucasus. To strengthen the OSCE´s mediation efforts in the unresolved conflicts of the region and to foster confidence-building, the Swiss government has—in addition to its Chairmanship—appointed two Special Representatives for the South Caucasus. In the face of transnational threats, Switzerland will emphasize the OSCE´s work in combating terrorism and stress the importance of respect for human rights.

“It is not security against someone but security that is jointly achieved. It is based on the premise that no state can be secure as long as one state is insecure,”
—Foreign Minister Didier Burkhalter in his July speech at the
Permanent Council of the OSCE, where he outlined Switzerland´s approach
and priorities for its Chairmanship of the organization in 2014.

With the end of the Cold War, the OSCE was called upon to play a new role in managing the historic change taking place in Europe and responding to the new challenges of the post-Cold War period. Timeline: The OSCE from the Cold War to today

Since Switzerland wants to strengthen the voice of young people and enhance their involvement within OSCE structures, it is organizing a model OSCE series. One youth delegate from each of the fifty-seven OSCE participating States will be invited to take part in simulated meetings.
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