On 7 February SIPRI hosted a discussion on the future actions of the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE) at the Munich Security Conference.
Since December 2012 the OSCE Helsinki+40 process has been evaluating its activities and trying to identify ways to enhance the OSCE’s effectiveness. The OSCE continues to play an important role in certain crises, including the crisis in Ukraine. The OSCE’s monitoring mission in Ukraine is a clear demonstration of the fact that, even in difficult times, the organization is able to generate full support for activities that no other actor could carry out.
However, as discussed during the SIPRI event, the role of the OSCE cannot be limited to crisis response. It must remain a constructive hub in the continuous process of preventing the re-division of Europe. In order for the OSCE to function as a real anchor for cooperative security in Europe, sustained engagement is needed at the highest level. This can only be secured through demonstrated impact.
Furthermore, in order to make the work of the OSCE more effective, attention needs to be paid to all parts of the conflict cycle, and not just on interventions when crises have escalated to dangerous levels.
SIPRI would like to express its gratitude to the Swedish Parliament for generously supporting, without which this event would not have been possible.