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OSCE Continues to Tackle Global Challenges
November 27, 2013

By Jane Morse
IIP Staff Writer
26 November 2013

Kyiv skyline
The OSCE’s Ministerial Council will be meeting in Kyiv December 5–6 under the chairmanship of Ukraine. Both modern and historic buildings can be seen in the city’s skyline, shown above.

The Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE) continues to build trust and confidence among its 57 member states to advance political-military, economic and environmental security, Ambassador Daniel Baer, U.S. permanent representative to the OSCE, said during a November 25 State Department Foreign Press Center briefing.During the briefing, Baer celebrated the organization’s recent successes, including concluding two years of negotiations on cybersecurity confidence-building measures that will minimize threats to information and communication technologies. Baer expects that these measures will be adopted soon by the Permanent Council and be recognized by the ministers next week.

The ambassador also provided an overview of issues member states will address at the OSCE Ministerial Council taking place in Kyiv December 5–6 under the chairmanship of Ukraine.

Afghanistan will be among the “big-ticket” items. “Obviously, the upcoming transition and withdrawal of ISAF forces [International Security Assistance Force] in Afghanistan will have a tectonic effect politically, economically, particularly on neighboring countries,” Baer said. “This is actually an opportunity for the OSCE to contribute to reinforcing a stable, prosperous, open, democratic Afghanistan,” he said.

Other decisions that are slated for the December meeting, Baer said, include ending human trafficking; protecting journalists; supporting freedom of movement, religion and belief; and protecting Roma and Sinti, two minority groups that have been especially hard hit with discrimination and violence. The council will also continue the 2012 discussions on the contributions of good governance to economic development.

Member nations include those from the European Union and all the members of NATO. Collectively, these countries represent two-thirds of the world’s economy and 1 billion people. Established in 1975, the OSCE is the world’s largest security-oriented intergovernmental organization.