Reception on occasion of the German Unity Day
On occasion of the German Unity Day the three German Missions in Vienna organized a mutual reception at Palais Liechtenstein. Among the more than 1000 guests were Austrian Ministers Kurz and Doskozil, OSCE Secretary General Lamberto Zannier and the Special Representative for the German OSCE Chairmanship, Gernot Erler. Here you can download the speech he gave at the reception.
Speech by SR Gernot Erler on occasion of the German Unitiy Day [pdf, 320.73k]
In 2016, the German Chairmanship of the OSCE has supported the implementation of two large-scale youth events through the network of the Schwarzkopf Foundation and its biggest project, the European Youth Parliament (EYP). The two so-called International Forums of the EYP centered on topics according to the priorities set forward by the chairmanship, and brought together 150 youngsters aged 15 to 26 from OSCE countries.
Video: The OSCE as Mediator
On 6 July the conference "The OSCE as Mediator" took place in Berlin. Here you can watch a video with some impressions of the conference and statements by the participants.
Watch video (Youtube)
From 28 to 30 June, the three-day Annual Security Review Conference organised by the German Chairmanship was held in Vienna. It was attended by more than 400 high-ranking representatives from OSCE participating States who gathered to discuss security policy questions. In numerous events and discussions with high-profile panellists, the participants were able to find out more about security policy today and in the future and exchange views.
Bärbel Kofler, Federal Government Commissioner for Human Rights Policy and Humanitarian Aid at the Federal Foreign Office, issued the following statement in Berlin on 28 April regarding the judgement of a Russian court banning the representative body of the Crimean Tatar minority:
The Transdniestria conflict: Concentrated efforts to restart negotiations
At the invitation of Cord Meier-Klodt, Special Representative of the OSCE Chairperson-in-Office, a joint trip took place on 5 and 6 April to help restart the negotiating process. It saw mediators Russia and Ukraine, as well as the United States and the EU as observers, travel to Chisinau for talks with government representatives and to Tiraspol for talks with the leaders of Transdniestria. This was the first joint trip of this kind since 2012. It is part of an ongoing effort to persuade the conflict parties to take small confidence-building steps and return to the negotiating table. The official negotiating process has been on hold for nearly two years.
The first of four round tables on the conflict cycle took place in Vienna on 18 March. The aim of this series of events organised by the German OSCE Chairmanship in cooperation with the OSCE Secretariat is to foster exchange between the OSCE participating States on further enhancing the OSCE’s skills in the fields of early warning, conflict prevention, crisis management and post-conflict peacebuilding.
Foreign Minister and Chairperson-in-Office Frank-Walter Steinmeier crossed the Atlantic Ocean for a three day visit from 28 February to 1 March. He held political talks in New York and Washington, focusing on close bilateral coordination of urgent foreign policy issues with US Secretary of State John Kerry and the German OSCE Chairmanship, among others. In this context, Steinmeier presented the OSCE Chairmanship Programme to the UN Security Council (New York, 29 February) and engaged in discussions with the US Helsinki Commission in Washington (1 March).
High-ranking military officers, including several chiefs of defence staff from the OSCE participating States, gathered in Vienna on 16 and 17 February to talk about modifications to their military doctrines in the present security environment. The High-Level Military Doctrine Seminar was organised by the Netherlands, which chairs the Forum for Security Co-Operation.
The war in Syria, failed governance in Libya and the outstanding issues of the Minsk Agreement were three of the main topics on the agenda of the 52nd Munich Security Conference. Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier, who welcomed the audience both in his capacity as German Foreign Minister and as OSCE Chairperson-in-Office, highlighted the importance of an institution like the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE) in these “turbulent times”.
First Preparatory Meeting of the OSCE Economic and Environmental Forum on “Good Governance” under German Chairmanship
The First Preparatory Meeting of the OSCE Economic and Environmental Forum under German Chairmanship took place on 25-26 January in Vienna. The main topic was good environmental governance and enabling sustainable economic development.
In view of the still drastic humanitarian situation in and around Syria, the international Supporting Syria and the Region conference is being held in London on 4 February. Germany, Kuwait, Norway and...
Germany’s involvement in Syria
Opening of the first working sessions in all three dimensions of the OSCE
In the third calendar week Ambassador Eberhard Pohl opened the first working sessions in the three dimensions of the OSCE and thereby presented the German programme for the respective areas. The sessions are headed by the Romanian OSCE Ambassador Cristian Istrate (First Dimension), the Finnish OSCE Ambassador Katja Pehrman (Second Dimension) and the Greek OSCE Ambassador Andreas Papdakis (Third Dimension).
OSCE budget for 2016 adopted
The OSCE’s budget for 2016 was adopted at a special plenary meeting of the OSCE Permanent Council on 31 December 2015. The timely adoption of the budget just before for the start of Germany’s chairmanship of the OSCE sends an important signal for the Organization’s ability to act in difficult times.
The German Government is working on many levels on a peaceful solution to the conflict in and on Ukraine. It is also important to the German Government to support Ukraine in its reforms. The OSCE also plays an important part, for example regarding the monitoring of the ceasefire in eastern Ukraine and the efforts to implement the Minks agreements. On Friday (6 November), Foreign Minister Steinmeier received his counterparts from Russia, Ukraine and France for talks on the situation in eastern Ukraine.