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Liechtenstein Chairmanship of the Forum for Security Cooperation of the OSCE

From January to April 2013 Liechtenstein held the Chairmanship of the Forum for Security Co-operation (FSC), the OSCE’s decision-making body in the politico-military dimension. Liechtenstein is a participating State of the CSCE/OSCE since its founding in 1975.

Ambassador Maria-Pia Kotbauer (left), Permanent Representative of Liechtenstein to the OSCE, alongside Counselor Domenik Wanger and Third Secretary Emilia Breuss, at the opening of Liechtenstein's Chairmanship of the OSCE Forum for Security Co-operation, Vienna, 23 January 2013. (OSCE/Jonathan Perfect)

For a country like Liechtenstein, which has no army at its disposal to protect its population, the protection through international law and the membership in international organizations such as the OSCE is of special value. In assuming the Chairmanship of the FSC, Liechtenstein sought to make an active contribution to help strengthening the OSCE, mindful of its shared responsibility for ensuring a secure and stable Europe.

The FSC meets weekly in Vienna to discuss and make decisions regarding military aspects of security in the OSCE area, in particular confidence- and security-building measures (CSBMs). Liechtenstein took over the Chairmanship, which rotates among the 57 participating States each trimester, from the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia.

The current political realities in the politico-military dimension of the OSCE became apparent, when the desired FSC decisions could not find the necessary consensus among participating States at the OSCE Ministerial Council in Dublin in December 2012. The Liechtenstein Chairmanship therefore set itself the goal of enhancing the needed dialogue and exchange of views amongst participating States during the first trimester of 2013.

Accordingly, Liechtenstein put great emphasis on conducting a high-quality and broad security dialogue during its Chairmanship in order to promote transparency and confidence among participating States. To that end, representatives from the defence ministries of three OSCE participating States – Mongolia, Ukraine and Kazakhstan – presented their national security strategies and military doctrines. Upon the initiative of the US mission to the OSCE, a Major General from the NATO International Military Staff was invited to brief the Forum on NATO’s military co-operation within the framework of the Partnership for Peace.

An important security dialogue focused on the debate on conventional arms control and confidence- and security-building measures (CSBMs) – a subject that is a priority of the Ukrainian Chairmanship of the OSCE. Two further security dialogues were devoted to the application of international law and the observance of international norms – a longstanding concern that is of particular national interest to Liechtenstein. Concretely, the compliance with international humanitarian law and the implementation of UN Security Council Resolution 1325 on Women, Peace and Security were discussed.

During the Liechtenstein FSC Chairmanship two decisions were adopted. One on the necessary adjustments of the Vienna Document 2011 in connection with the admission of Mongolia as the 57th OSCE participating State and a second on the reporting on military expenditures.

The approach chosen by Liechtenstein to focus on a steady exchange within the Forum by making use of the security dialogue has imparted some fresh impetus to the Forum’s work. The security dialogue will continue to play a relevant role in the context of the FSC contribution to the Helsinki+40 process. This three-year process was agreed upon at the Dublin Ministerial Council and aims at making substantive achievements towards the OSCE’s goal of a security community by the 40th anniversary of the Helsinki Final Act in 2015.


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