The implementation of existing commitments in the human dimension is the main priority of the Swiss Chairmanship of the OSCE in 2014. Over the past 40 years, the OSCE participating States have developed a solid body of commitments to promote human rights, democracy, and the rule of law. However, there is a need to improve their effective implementation. Chairing the OSCE entails responsibilities and accountability. That is why in 2013 and throughout 2014, Switzerland has worked to improve the implementation of OSCE commitments in the OSCE area including in Switzerland itself.
To improve the implementation of these commitments and to enhance follow-up of related findings and recommendations by OSCE structures, Switzerland voluntarily decided to carry out a “self-assessment” of its performance. This initiative by Switzerland was taken in response to long-standing calls from civil society and parliamentarians. Switzerland has engaged in an inclusive dialogue with civil society in Switzerland and in the OSCE area, as the civil society plays a crucial role in assisting participating States to ensure full respect for human rights, fundamental freedoms, and the rule of law.
This self-assessment process involved three phases: during the first phase the Swiss Centre of Expertise in Human Rights (SCHR) drafted a report under the leadership of Professor Walter Kälin. During the second phase the Swiss NGO Working Group OSCE drew up a report on the SCHR’s report. During the third phase the competent Swiss authorities prepared and issued a commentary on both reports.