Making the most of common opportunities: OSCE and Asian partners convene at the Federal Foreign Office

The world has shrunk. Political, economic and social developments do not stop at national borders. It is therefore all the more important to foster exchange platforms in order to be able to deal with global challenges. On Monday and Tuesday (19 and 20 June), the OSCE and its partners are gathering for an Asian Conference at the Federal Foreign Office.

“Asia is and remains an important region for our future – a key region for every single OSCE participating State.” In his opening address, Gernot Erler, Special Representative of the Federal Government for the OSCE, underscored the importance of exchange in our globalised world.

Important partnership

The conference offered OSCE representatives the chance to discuss with colleagues from Afghanistan, Australia, Japan, Korea and Thailand how Asia and the OSCE can intensify their cooperation in light of joint challenges and opportunities.

OSCE Secretary General Lamberto Zannier declared that there was no alternative to finding cooperative and inclusive solutions to the complex security situation: “To better meet these challenges, regional security organisations such as the OSCE must look beyond their own area of responsibility and forge partnerships with other regional organisations and countries that have a stake in our security.”

Common challenges, common opportunities

The first day of the conference, which is entitled “Common challenges and common opportunities”, focused on issues such as confidence-building measures and shaping economic cooperation. On the second day (20 June), the conference delegates will be discussing what the OSCE and its Asian partners can do to implement the global Sustainable Development Goals.

The OSCE in the focus of German foreign policy Even now that Germany’s OSCE Chairmanship in 2016 is over, the issues and goals of the OSCE are still on the agenda of German foreign policy. This year, Germany is chairing the Contact Group with the Asian Partners for Co-operation and is organising five expert meetings in Vienna in addition to the OSCE Asian Conference.