Priorities of the Austrian Chairmanship

Especially since the events of 2014, it has become clear that it is no longer exclusively border conflicts and military confrontations, but also increasing radicalisation and terrorism as well as a growing loss of trust – also among participating States – that are giving way to a rising feeling of insecurity and augmenting fears in our societies. It is particularly against such a background that the OSCE plays a key role in re-establishing security and stability.

Austria has therefore defined the priorities for its Chairmanship of the OSCE 2017 in response to the current threats and challenges in the OSCE area:

In the context of its Chairmanship Austria will thus focus on:

1) Contributing towards defusing existing conflicts.

The last few months have seen a further aggravation of military conflicts, which have already resulted in thousands of victims, displacements and destruction. The Austrian Chairmanship will therefore place a major focus on countering these developments. 

2) Joining forces in fighting radicalisation and violent extremism.

The increasing threat to domestic security posed by radicalisation of mainly young people and resulting in terrorism represents an imminent risk to the entire OSCE area. The Austrian Chairmanship will therefore place a major focus on countering these tendencies.

3) Re-establishing trust and confidence.

The increasing loss of trust between states as well as citizens’ continuing loss of confidence in governmental institutions and organisations mandated with safeguarding peace and our shared values, needs to be critically examined. The Austrian Chairmanship will therefore place a major focus on taking relevant action and on launching the necessary initiatives aimed at facilitating confidence building. 

Similar to the cohesive programme of the Austrian OSCE Chairmanship, the activities launched by the Chair cannot be considered in an isolated manner but need to be placed in the context of ensuring continuity in view of annually rotating chairs. The Austrian Chairmanship programme acts as the common thread linking the Ministerial Council in Hamburg in December 2016 to the Ministerial Council in Vienna in December 2017 and thus ensuring sustainability of the OSCE’s activities.