Foreign minister: Estonia wants to hold OSCE chairpersonship

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

Minister of Foreign Affairs Eva-Maria Liimets (Center) raised Estonia's wish to hold the OSCE Chairperson-in-Office title in 2024 with the head of the organization on Monday.

The Chairperson-in-Office takes a lead in conflict prevention, resolution and rehabilitation in the OSCE region. They must take up direct contact with the parties concerned and arrange or conduct settlement negotiations.  

Liimets spoke by phone with Helga Maria Schmid, secretary general of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE), the Ministry of Foreign Affairs said on Monday.

The minister emphasized the basic principles of the organization in ensuring peace and stability still need to be supported and implemented.

"We need more political will, dialogues oriented towards solutions and trust between all members. I also agree with the secretary general that OSCE should pay more attention to women's participation in peace negotiations and conflict resolution, which is also an important topic in Estonia's foreign policy," she said in a statement following the call.

After the conversation, the minster said: "All participating States should follow the agreed principles of security, democracy & human rights."

Liimets said Estonia wants to hold the Chairperson-in-Office in the future. The earliest possibility to do so is in 2024. This year the position is held by Sweden.

Among the Baltic states, only Lithuania has held the title so far and did so in 2011. Estonia is currently a non-permanent member of the United Nations Security Council but this term will end next month.

The OSCE 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. 

The OSCE includes 57 countries decisions are taken by consensus on a politically, but not legally binding basis.


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Editor: Helen Wright

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