Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE)

Organisation de la sécurité et la coopération en Europe (OSCE)

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3 Jul 1975, as a continuing series of meetings with the title Conference on Security and Cooperation in Europe (CSCE) -- Conférence sur la sécurité et la coopération en Europe (CSCE) -- Konferenz für Sicherheit und Zusammenarbeit (KSZE) to serve as a multilateral forum for dialogue and negotiation between East and West. Meeting over 2 years in Helsinki (Finland) and Geneva (Switzerland), CSCE reached agreement on the T-XT7575 - Helsinki Final Act of the Conference on Security and Cooperation in Europe (Helsinki Accords), signed by Heads of State or Government of 35 states on 1 Aug 1975, a politically binding agreement, which sets out basic principles for behaviour among participating states and of governments towards citizens. Establishment followed multilateral consultations over a number of years. Institutionalized as a permanent body, 21 Nov 1990, under Charter of Paris for a New Europe or Paris Charter. Expanded and further delineated under the Helsinki Document, adopted Jul 1992. Current title adopted at pan-European summit, 5-6 Dec 1994, Budapest (Hungary), with effect from 1 Jan 1995.


Serve as a primary instrument for early warning, conflict prevention, crisis management and post-conflict rehabilitation; get involved in a wide range of security-related issues, arms control measures, economic and environmental activities and counter-terrorism activities; oversee democratic electoral processes, good governance and rule of law; protect human rights; help develop a free, pluralistic and independent media and build civil society; offer police training; work to prevent human trafficking; promote cooperation and dialogue between participating States, ensuring equal status and that decisions are based on consensus.


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'Decision-making mechanisms': Summit (Meeting of Heads of State or Government). Ministerial Council (meets annually). Permanent Council (meets weekly), consisting of representatives of participating States with partner States attending as observers. Forum for Security Cooperation (FSC) (meets weekly, always in Vienna, Austria) with rotating chairmanship (every 4 months).

Chairmanship (annually rotating), with Chairperson-in-Office held by Foreign Minister of participating State and assisted by previous and succeeding Chairpersons, constituting the Troika. Secretary General, appointed by Ministerial Council for 3 years and serves as Chief Administrative Officer. Secretariat, headed by Secretary General, encompasses: Office of the Secretary General; Department of Management and Finance; Department of Human Resources; Prague (Czech Rep) Office; Training Section; Action against Terrorism Unit; Office of the Special Representative and Coordinator for Combating Trafficking in Human Beings; K-XE3076 - Conflict Prevention Centre, Vienna (CPC): Office of the Coordinator of OSCE Economic and Environmental Activities; External Cooperation; Strategic Police Matters Unit; Gender Section.

'Institutions': E-XE3042 - OSCE - Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights (OSCE/ODIHR); E-XE2753 - OSCE High Commissioner on National Minorities (HCNM); Representative on Freedom of the Media.

Other structures and institutions: F-XF2317 - Parliamentary Assembly of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE PA); F-XF3997 - Court of Conciliation and Arbitration within the OSCE (OSCE Court); Minsk Group.

Related bodies: Joint Consultative Group; Open Skies Consultative Commission.


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Relations with Inter-Governmental Organizations

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Relations with Non-Governmental Organizations

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Type I Classification

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Type II Classification

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Subjects *

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UN Sustainable Development Goals **

GOAL 11: Sustainable Cities and CommunitiesGOAL 17: Partnerships to achieve the Goal



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* Subject classification is derived from the organization names and aims.
** UN SDGs are linked to the subject classification.

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