Switzerland’s Chairmanship of the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE) in 2014 was evidence of the country’s commitment to stability in Europe and neighbouring regions – one of its foreign policy priorities. The Swiss Chairmanship was guided by the motto “Creating a Security Community for the Benefit of Everyone”.
Switzerland’s Chairmanship of the OSCE in 2014 enabled the country to step up its commitment to stability in Europe and its neighbouring regions, which is one of Switzerland’s foreign policy priorities. The Swiss Chairmanship was guided by the motto of “creating a security community for the benefit of everyone”. This was the second time that Switzerland assumed this role following its term in 1996. During its 2014 Chairmanship, Switzerland worked closely with Serbia, which will chair the OSCE in 2015. Ukraine, which chaired the organisation in 2013, was also part of the 2014 “troika”. In his capacity as head of the Federal Department of Foreign Affairs, the President of the Swiss Confederation, Mr Didier Burkhalter, was the OSCE Chairperson-in-Office for 2014. In December 2014, he invited the foreign ministers of the other 56 OSCE participating States to Basel for a meeting of the Ministerial Council, the organisation’s central decision-making and governing body. A meeting of the OSCE Parliamentary Assembly took place in Geneva earlier in October 2014.
For the OSCE, security is not only a military concept. Security incorporates other dimensions that Switzerland also holds dear: environmental protection and economic stability, human rights, respect for democracy and the rule of law. Switzerland has been a member of the OSCE since its founding in 1975 and views the organisation as an important platform for political dialogue and action on the ground.
From the beginning of 2014, the Swiss representative to the OSCE chaired weekly meetings of the Permanent Council in Vienna, bringing together all participating States to discuss the latest developments in the OSCE region and take decisions.
Switzerland set itself the following priorities for its Chairmanship of the OSCE in 2014:
1. Promoting security and stability
2. Improving people's living conditions
3. Strengthening the OSCE's capacity to act