Political-military dimension of security

A military aircraft at an airport.
Visit by a military unit during a Swiss contact event within the framework of the OSCE Vienna Document 2011 on Confidence- and Security-Building Measures (CSBM). © DDPS

The OSCE takes a comprehensive approach to the politico-military dimension of security, which includes a number of commitments by participating States and mechanisms for conflict prevention and resolution. 

The politico-military dimension of security comprises the following areas of activity:

  • Arms control
  • Defence and police reforms
  • Border control
  • Combating transnational threats such as terrorism
  • Conflict prevention and resolution
  • Secure stockpiling and destruction of small arms and light weapons
  • Fight against cybercrime

The OSCE advocates a cooperative approach to security based on cooperation and dialogue. The control of conventional weapons systems and the promotion of confidence- and security-building measures (CSBMs) by the OSCE are a key part of cooperative security in Europe. The Vienna Document 2011 is the most important instrument for military confidence building in the OSCE. The OSCE plays a key role in the individual stages of the conflict cycle – early warning, conflict prevention and resolution, crisis management and post-conflict rehabilitation – and works closely with other international actors. 

Several armoured vehicles are inspected.
Visits by a military unit during a Swiss contact event within the framework of the OSCE Vienna Document 2011 on Confidence- and Security-Building Measures (CSBM). © DDPS

Swiss engagement

The goal is to create a culture of transparency and predictability, and to build confidence and stability. In the politico-military dimension, Switzerland's involvement is based on two OSCE documents: the Vienna Document, which contains confidence- and security-building measures, and the OSCE Code of Conduct on Politico-Military Aspects of Security.

Switzerland is committed to maintaining, revitalising and further developing confidence- and security-building measures and arms control instruments. Switzerland is also committed to strengthening capabilities in the conflict cycle, in particular to maintaining and, where possible, expanding institutional capabilities. 

Chairmanship of the OSCE Forum for Security Co-operation

On 1 January 2019, Switzerland assumed the chairmanship of the OSCE Forum for Security Co-operation (FSC) for four months. The FSC is the OSCE's negotiating and decision-making body for the organisation's politico-military dimension. Within the FSC, the 57 OSCE participating states engage in security dialogues on ways to increase military security and stability in Europe. Under the Swiss chairmanship, dialogues were held on topics including small arms and conventional ammunition, private military and security services, confidence- and security-building measures within and outside the OSCE, democratic control of armed forces, security sector governance and reform, and the role of women in security policy.