Crisis in and around Ukraine: Concern over secessionist tendencies
The German government has expressed its "serious concern" over the most recent developments in eastern Ukraine. They clearly contradict both the spirit and the letter of the Minsk agreements, stressed federal government spokesperson Steffen Seibert and Federal Foreign Office Martin Schäfer spokesperson in Berlin.
In December 2016 the European Centre for Minority Issues (ECMI) published a report on the integration of national minorities in the OSCE area and their bridge-building potential. The project was developed at the request of the High Commissioner on National Minorities (HCNM) in response to the priorities set by the 2016 German OSCE Chairmanship.
Relaunching conventional arms control in Europe
Rebuilding destroyed confidence and preventing an arms race: these tasks have become even more pressing since the outbreak of the Ukraine crisis. For the annexation of Crimea in violation of international law has brought the question of war and peace back to Europe. In August 2016, therefore, former Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier called for a relaunch of conventional arms control. On 25 November, 14 like‑minded states met for talks at the Federal Foreign Office and issued a joint declaration.
Ministerial declaration by the foreign ministers
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]
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:
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.