Foreign ministry green-lights Estonia bid as OSCE chair

Flags at the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE)
Flags at the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) Source: OSCE.

The foreign ministry has given the go-ahead for Estonia to be nominated as potential chair of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) for 2023.

The OSCE, the world's largest security-oriented intergovernmental organization, is chaired by Albania at present in a role decided by consensus among the 57 participating states.

Foreign Minister Urmas Reinsalu (Isamaa) says that OSCE chairmanship would be a logical step in the future, not least since Estonia can bring its experience from holding a UN Security Council (UNSC) non-permanent seat, for 2020-2021.

The area of security is of particular interest, Reinsalu said.

"Estonia wants to play a leading role in addressing and marshaling those issues which are directly related to our own security, as well as in supporting multilateral international co-operation via the OSCE," Reinsalu said.

The next step will be preparations for Estonia's candidacy and lobbying in the international community, under the purview of the foreign ministry, with other ministries called in as needed.

Sweden takes on the role of OCSE chair next year, followed by Poland in 2022.

The OCSE's headquarters are in Vienna, Austria. Estonia, which joined the organization shortly after independence in 1991, has so far not held the role of chair. Its members are chiefly in Europe, though both the U.S. and Canada are members, as are Turkey and several of the Central Asian republics.

The organization should not be confused with the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), a 37-member international organization focused on economic development, which President Kersti Kajulaid is in the running for as next Secretary-General.


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Editor: Andrew Whyte

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