OSCE review conference with civil society and governments concludes in run-up to Summit


OSCE review conference with civil society and governments concludes in run-up to SummitThe Review Conference held by the OSCE ahead of the Summit on 1 and 2 December for civil society organizations and participating States to assess the implementation of OSCE commitments concluded in Astana on November 28.

“The great value of the OSCE meetings resides in the ability of civil society organizations to actively take part,” said the Special Envoy of the OSCE Chairperson-in-Office and Deputy Foreign Minister of Kazakhstan, Konstantin Zhigalov. “The in-depth look into the status of implementation of the whole range of commitments across the OSCE has definitely proved to be vital and valuable.”

The Astana segment of the Review Conference, which began on 26 November, follows two earlier segments held in Warsaw from 30 September to 8 October and in Vienna from 18 to 26 October.

“The Review Conference told us where we stand and where we can do better in the OSCE’s three dimensions, addressing the politico-military, the economic and environmental, and the human aspects of security,” said OSCE Secretary General Marc Perrin de Brichambaut.

“During 17 days of meetings in Warsaw, Vienna and here in Astana, the OSCE participating States engaged in frank and open discussions with representatives of no fewer than 530 non-governmental organizations. We are very grateful for civil society’s participation as it helps keep States vigilant about their commitments to other states and to their own citizens.”

The Astana and Warsaw parts of the 2010 Review Conference focused on commitments related to the human dimension of the OSCE work, namely the norms and activities concerning human rights, the rule of law and democracy that comprise one of the three pillars of the OSCE’s comprehensive security concept. The discussions in Astana addressed freedom of the media, intolerance against migrants and combating trafficking in human beings, with a particular focus on trafficking in children.

The Vienna segment focused on the other two pillars, the politico-military and the economic and environmental dimensions, as well as OSCE structures and activities.

The 1992 Helsinki Document and the 1994 Budapest Document mandate the OSCE with holding review conferences before meetings of OSCE Heads of State and Government to “review the entire range of activities within the CSCE [now OSCE], including a thorough implementation debate, and consider further steps to strengthen the CSCE process”.

The OSCE Summit begins on 1 December in Astana’s Palace of Independence. Thirty-eight Heads of State and Government from the 56 OSCE participating States and 12 Partner for Co-operation countries are scheduled to attend.