The Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE)


osce
The Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE) is the largest regional security organization in the Eurasian-Atlantic space, with its 55 participating States covering an area from Vancouver to Vladivostok.

 

Comprehensive concept of security does not only constitute one of the basic tenets on which the OSCE is operating but also acknowledge the importance of striking a fair balance among the activities of human, politico-military as well as economic and environmental activities. Moreover, through the principle of the “indivisibility of security”, participating States have committed themselves to abstain from strengthening their own security to the detriment of the security of other participating States. The concept of “co-operative security” which is based upon the understanding that common security in the context of globalization can only be achieved through increased co-operation between participating States is yet another notion developed within the fold of the OSCE. The latter has taken on new meaning and has gained further importance in the aftermath of September 11 terrorist attacks.

 

The OSCE instruments in preventive diplomacy are early warning, conflict prevention, crisis management, and where these fail, post conflict rehabilitation. Within this framework, the OSCE, through its Field Missions in the Balkans, Central and Eastern Europe, the Caucasus and Central Asia carries out important tasks covering all three dimensions of security.

 

Following the terrorist attacks on September 11, the OSCE has broadened its field of activities to cover terrorism and related threats to security, such as organized crime, arms, narcotics and human trafficking.

 

OSCE Strategy to address threats to stability and security in the 21st century adopted at the OSCE Ministerial meeting in Maastricht on 1-2 December 2003 constitutes a significant step forward in defining the Organization`s response to risks and threats in a changing security environment. As the threats originating from the adjacent areas are also recognized in the Strategy, OSCE will examine the possibility in 2004 for increasing dialogue and cooperation with the partner countries as well as promoting its norms, principles and commitments in the adjacent areas on the basis of a decision proposed by Turkey.

 

Turkey is a member of the OSCE since its very inception in 1975, when it was formed as a standing conference (CSCE), and has actively supported its development and strengthening.

 

As a proof of particular importance attached to this Organization, Turkey hosted the OSCE Summit Meeting in Istanbul in 1999. The Istanbul Summit at which the Charter for European Security, the Agreement on Adaptation of the Treaty on Conventional Armed Forces in Europe and the revised Vienna Document (VD 99) were signed and adopted, has become a major milestone and point of reference for the OSCE activities since that date.

 

Turkey strongly believes that sharing of OSCE experience in fostering international and regional stability and security with non-OSCE countries, especially with those neighboring Turkey, will have positive effects in the future. With this understanding, Turkey has been supportive of a number of initiatives in this direction, the most significant of which is Conference on Interaction and Confidence Building in Asia (CICA) based in Almaty, Kazakhstan.

 

(For further information about the OSCE: www.osce.org)

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