In his capacity as Chairperson-in-Office of the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE), Foreign Minister Sebastian Kurz has invited the Foreign Ministers of the OSCE’s 57 participating States and 11 Partners for Co-operation, as well as high-ranking representatives of a range of international organizations, to Vienna for the 24th OSCE Ministerial Council, which is scheduled to take place from 7 to 8 December.
The meeting is taking place in the context of a fundamental crisis of the European security order, in which our States are confronted with external and internal threats. It offers a framework for high-level multilateral and bilateral discussions among the participating and partner States, to develop common solutions to these common challenges.
The Austrian Chairmanship’s three main priorities for the work of the OSCE this year will steer the discussions at the Ministerial Council. Alongside defusing conflicts in the OSCE area – including, in particular, the OSCE’s work in Ukraine, Transdniestria, Nagorno-Karabakh and Georgia – discussions will focus on fighting violent extremism and radicalisation, as well as on efforts to restore trust and confidence in the OSCE area.
In the plenary sessions, participating States will exchange views on threats to security, as well as on current developments. In addition to the conflicts in the OSCE area, main topics will include migration, terrorism, human rights, rule of law and democracy. Side events will provide an opportunity to discuss more intensively key issues such as radicalisation and the Ukraine conflict, as well as how to carry forward the structured dialogue on current and future challenges and risks to security in the OSCE area.
A parallel civil society conference will be held on 5 and 6 December in Vienna. The recommendations emanating from this conference will be introduced into the Ministerial Council’s debates.
The OSCE, as the world’s largest regional organization, with an intricate and balanced system of political commitments founded on a concept of comprehensive and cooperative security, offers a key platform for overcoming security challenges. The principles and values agreed upon unanimously by the participating States in Helsinki in 1975 and expanded over the years, provide a solid foundation for the long-term security and stability for all States in the OSCE area.
The OSCE Ministerial Council is the OSCE’s principal decision-making body. It meets annually and provides an opportunity for the Foreign Ministers of the 57 participating States to take stock of the Organization’s activities over the past year and to strengthen the dialogue on security issues.