The Forum for Security Co‑operation (FSC) embodies the OSCE’s politico-military dimension and, together with the Permanent Council, is one of the two most important fora for consultation and decision-making within the OSCE. The two meet on a weekly basis in Vienna. The Forum, set up at the CSCE Summit in Helsinki in 1992, aims to promote an open atmosphere based on trust in politico-military questions and devise steps to reduce the risk of armed conflict.
The main tasks of the FSC are:
- conducting a comprehensive security dialogue, consultations on reducing conflict risks, inter alia through an annual Security Review Conference and through regular dialogue on various themes in the FSC plenary meetings,
- negotiating confidence- and security-building measures (CSBMs), arms control and disarmament (examples: Vienna Document, Code of Conduct on politico-military aspects of security),
- combating the illegal proliferation of small arms and light weapons including Man-Portable Air Defence Systems (MANPADS) and munitions,
- observing the implementation of the agreed confidence- and security-building measures, in particular the instruments contained therein (for example information exchange, inspections, monitoring activities and military contacts) and organising an annual meeting to assess the implementation of the so‑called FSC acquis, that is the entire spectrum of FSC documents and decisions,
- conflict prevention and conflict management supported by the FSC acquis; where applicable launching conflict management mechanisms provided for in the acquis.
The chairmanship of the Forum changes every four months in alphabetical order of the countries’ names in French. In 2016, the FSC is being chaired by the Netherlands, Poland and Portugal. Within the framework of its OSCE Chairmanship, Germany cooperates closely with whichever country is chairing the FSC.
To facilitate and strengthen links between the three dimensions of the OSCE, there are joint meetings of the FSC and the Permanent Council on current security policy issues several times a year.
Germany advocates further extending the role of the FSC as a forum for comprehensive discussion of politico-military security issues. Furthermore, other regions and in particular the OSCE Partners for Co‑operation, which include some southern Mediterranean countries, some Asian countries as well as Australia, are to be involved in the politico-military FSC acquis and the experience of the OSCE.