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Continuing to develop the OSCE

The 19th OSCE Ministerial Council began on 6 December in Dublin. Representatives from the 57 OSCE member states as well as from 11 partner countries are taking part in the two-day meeting. Minister of State Michael Georg Link is representing the German Government.

Ireland holds the Chairmanship of the OSCE for 2012. Ireland’s Minister for Foreign Affairs Eamon Gilmore said he welcomed the meeting as a good opportunity to discuss the pressing security challenges of the OSCE area. One of the central issues for the Council in Dublin is the “Helsinki + 40” process. The 40th anniversary of the Helsinki Final Act will be celebrated in 2015. With a view to this anniversary year, the Irish Chairmanship has developed a plan that is to be discussed at the Ministerial Council.

The OSCE was created by the Helsinki Final Act of the Conference on Security and Co operation in Europe (CSCE) in 1975. With its 57 members, it is the only security policy organization in which all European countries, the successor states of the Soviet Union, the United States, Canada and Mongolia, the most recent state to join, are represented. The OSCE sees the concept of comprehensive security as encompassing the following three dimensions: first, the politico-military dimension; second, the economic and environmental dimension; and third, the human dimension.

A model security concept

Minister of State Link at the OSCE Ministerial Council in Dublin

Minister of State Link at the OSCE Ministerial Council in Dublin
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Minister of State Link at the OSCE Ministerial Council in Dublin

Minister of State Link at the OSCE Ministerial Council in Dublin

Minister of State Link at the OSCE Ministerial Council in Dublin

In his speech, Minister of State Link warned against underestimating the relevance of the OSCE in security policy. On the contrary, he said that its comprehensive security concept was “a model for the world and thus of lasting significance”. He recalled the historic importance of the Helsinki Final Act, which had been “the basis for overcoming the division of the world into East and West, something that was nearly unimaginable at the time”. He went on to say that with the Helsinki +40 process the OSCE must now turn towards the future.

Continued development, especially in the human dimension

Link added that, as a security community, the OSCE had to continue to develop and adapt to the realities of the 21st century. Germany would continue to work actively in the OSCE and to promote the strengthening and further development of its acquis, that is to say all the responsibilities agreed by participating states since 1975.

Link said that the Ministerial Council in Dublin must above all make progress in the area of the human dimension. The lack of progress in this area since the last Ministerial Council in Vilnius was a particularly serious symptom of the divisions that had once again arisen in the OSCE area, he said.


Last updated 06.12.2012

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