With a unanimous decision, the 57 participating states of the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE) elected Italy to its chairmanship in 2018. “This decision fully represents the recognition of our country’s commitment and the desire to actively contribute to peace and stability in Europe,” stated Italy’s Foreign Minister Paolo Gentiloni.
In a historic moment characterized by multiplying factors of crisis and instability within and along the borders of Europe, the OSCE chairmanship will see Italy involved in a broad scope of activities that will not be restricted to 2018 but will develop through the 2017-2019 period, when the country will be part of the OSCE Troika. Starting from 1 January 2017 Italy will be working closely with Germany (2016 chair) and Austria (2017 chair) in its function as Chair of the Mediterranean Group.
“A solution to the Ukraine crisis and the so-called frozen conflicts in the OSCE area (Nagorno-Karabakh, Georgia and Transnistria), the migrant and refugee crisis, and a strengthened partnership with countries on the southern shore of the Mediterranean will be at the core of our agenda during our chairmanship”, Gentiloni added.
A privileged forum for cooperation, dialogue for the promotion of peace, security and stability, “from Vancouver to Vladivostok”, the OSCE is based on the concept of comprehensive security encompassed in the 1975 Helsinki Final Act which makes its role all the more crucial today as it implies the need to focus constant attention on all of OSCE’s political and military, economic and environmental and human “dimensions” and goals.
“It is a concept of security – Mr Gentiloni concluded – that is all the more topical today as it is the method that led to the Helsinki Act which is looked at with growing interest in laying the ground for a new order in the Mediterranean.”