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The OSCE at a Crossroads: Recognizing and Seizing Opportunities

1 December, 2018


The OSCE Focus 2018 at a Glance
Held on 12-13 October at Villa Moynier in Geneva, the OSCE Focus 2018 conference was dedicated to the theme ‘The OSCE at a Crossroads: Recognizing and Seizing Opportunities’. Over 40 high-ranking participants from the OSCE community, including Secretary General Thomas Greminger, engaged in focused, open, and frank discussions on the challenges and opportunities currently faced by the organization. This report summarizes key reflections made and recommendations put forward during the conference. The workshop was organized by the Geneva Centre for the Democratic Control of Armed Forces (DCAF) with support from, and in close collaboration with, the ministries of foreignaffairs of Austria, Italy, Slovakia, and Switzerland, along with the Center for Security Studies (CSS), ETH Zurich.

The conference was titled: ‘The OSCE at a Crossroads: Recognizing and Seizing Opportunities’. The programme included six topics each of which were introduced by the author of a paper and debated by two or three additional panellists. The six topics were: ‘European Security: A Global Perspective’; ‘The Spirit of Cooperation and the Structured Dialogue’; ‘Reforming the OSCE: Between Continuity and Change’; ‘Prospects for Mediterranean Security’; ‘Strengthening the OSCE’s Approach to Supporting SSG/R’; and ‘Challenges to the Human Dimension’.

About the OSCE Focus Conference Series
Since 2011, DCAF has organized the annual OSCE Focus conference series in Geneva. The conference series has established itself as an important forum for representatives of the OSCE Chairs, executive structures and participating States, as well as experts from the think tank community to review the role of the OSCE and discuss key themes for the coming year. Conducted under Chatham House Rules, the two-day retreat-type meetings provide an opportunity to reflect critically on the fundamentals of the OSCE, sound out new ideas and take a fresh look at ‘old’ problems. They also prove extremely useful in ‘passing the baton’ to the next OSCE Chair.