Organisation for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE)
With 56 States from Europe, Central Asia and North America, the OSCE is the world's largest regional security organization. It offers a forum for political negotiations and decision-making in the fields of early warning, conflict prevention, crisis management and post-conflict rehabilitation, and puts the political will of its participating States into practice through its unique network of field missions.
The OSCE has a comprehensive approach to security that encompasses politico-military, economic and environmental, and human aspects. It therefore addresses a wide range of security-related concerns, including arms control, confidence- and security-building measures, human rights, national minorities, democratization, policing strategies, counter-terrorism and economic and environmental activities.
Forum for dialogue – platform for action
The OSCE offers a forum for high-level political dialogue on a wide range of security issues and a platform for practical work to improve the lives of individuals and communities. As an inclusive regional instrument for early warning, conflict prevention, crisis management and post-conflict rehabilitation, we help bridge differences between states and build trust through co-operation.
With its specialized institutions, expert units and network of field operations, the OSCE addresses a range of issues that have an impact on our common security, including arms control, terrorism, good governance, energy security, human trafficking, democratization, media freedom and minority rights.
Security touches upon many aspects of our lives. The OSCE views security as comprehensive and works to address the three dimensions of security – the politico-military, the economic and environmental, and the human – as an integrated whole.
The OSCE seeks to enhance military security by promoting greater openness, transparency and co-operation. Under its auspices, its participating States have developed the world’s most advanced regime of arms control and confidence-building measures.
At the same time, we take a broad approach to the politico-military dimension of security, focusing on, among other issues, defence reform, policing and the safe storage and destruction of small arms and light weapons and conventional ammunition.
Economic prosperity is a cornerstone of security, and the OSCE is dedicated to promoting economic co-operation and good governance in a region that includes most of the northern hemisphere. Moreover, the OSCE considers environmental issues as a key factor of security. We work with participating States to ensure that hazardous waste is soundly managed, to promote environmental awareness and to foster co-operation over shared natural resources.
Lasting security is not possible without respect for human rights and fundamental freedoms. The OSCE helps its participating States build democratic institutions; hold free, fair and transparent elections; promote gender equality; ensure respect for human rights, media freedom, minority rights and the rule of law; and promote tolerance and non-discrimination.
The OSCE’s approach to security connects these three dimensions; this makes us especially effective in addressing “cross-dimensional” security challenges – transnational threats including terrorism, organized crime, cyber crime and trafficking in drugs, arms and human beings – which require joined-up, sustainable responses.
The OSCE also seeks to connect different actors inside and between States and across regions. This includes strengthening local government, building partnerships between the private and public sectors and working with civil society.
The OSCE works closely with other international and regional organizations. Recognizing that security in the OSCE region is inextricably linked with that of neighbouring areas, the OSCE co-operates with partner countries in the Mediterranean region and in Asia, as well as with Australia.