Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE)

Image of people at a meeting during an OSCE mission in Moldova
OSCE meeting during a mission in Moldova in 2014. © OSCE

The Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE), headquartered in Vienna, is the largest regional security organisation worldwide with 57 participating States spanning North America, Europe and Asia. Its priority is to resolve conflicts and build confidence. After having held the Chairmanship in 1996, Switzerland chaired the OSCE for a second time in 2014.

Switzerland views the OSCE as a key platform through which to implement its foreign-policy priority commitment to freedom and security in Europe, its neighbouring countries, and in the world. It uses the Organization as an opportunity to discuss security policy issues and confidence-building measures with all of the European and Central Asian States, as well as with the USA and Canada.

Switzerland provides support for OSCE projects and makes experts available for fixed-term missions in civilian projects such as, for example, election observers, police advisers, or specialists for constitutional questions, mediation, the rule of law, and human rights. It has been a member of the OSCE since 1975.

Objectives and institutions of the OSCE

Ziel der OSZE ist es, Demokratie, Menschenrechte und Rechtsstaatlichkeit zu fördern, Differenzen zwischen Staaten zu überwinden und Vertrauen zu schaffen.

Swiss Delegation to the OSCE in Vienna

As a participating State, Switzerland works to defend its position and interests in the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe

Politico-military dimension

Arms control, defence and police reforms, border control, combating transnational threats such as terrorism, conflict prevention and resolution, the secure stockpiling and destruction of small arms and light weapons, and the fight against cybercrime

Economic and environmental dimension

Good governance, the fight against corruption, environmental protection, the sustainable utilisation of natural resources, water management, and the environmentally sound management of hazardous waste, professionalism in responding to natural disasters

Human Dimension

Respect and protection of human rights and fundamental freedoms, building of democratic structures, promotion of tolerance and non-discrimination, media freedom, minority rights and the rule of law, gender issues

Swiss OSCE Chairmanship 2014

Switzerland chaired the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE) in 2014.