EPRS Admin By / September 29, 2021

OSCE participating states and partners for cooperation

OSCE participating states and partners for cooperation

OSCE participating states and partners for cooperation

1954: the Soviet Union proposed a multilateral European security conference. The idea was rejected by the US and its western European allies, which saw it as an attempt to legitimise the post-war Soviet dominated order in eastern Europe.
1973: improved relations during the détente of the early 1970s opened the door to an agreement between the two opposing blocs, which decided to launch a process known as the Conference on Security and Co-operation in Europe (CSCE).
1 August 1975: representatives of 35 countries (NATO and Warsaw Pact members, as well as several neutral states such as Finland, Switzerland and Yugoslavia, signed the Helsinki Final Act, also known as the Helsinki Accords. These latter enshrine 10 principles (the Decalogue), including the inviolability of borders, refraining from the use of force, respect for human rights and fundamental freedoms, and cooperation among states.
1977-1992: After the adoption of the Helsinki Final Act, the process continued with several follow-up meetings, the last of which was held in Helsinki in 1992.
1990: signed by most parties to the Helsinki Final Act, the Paris Charter expressed optimism about ‘a new era of Democracy, Peace and Unity’ in Europe, based on the principles of the Helsinki Final Act, and an end to Cold War confrontation. By establishing a permanent secretariat and institutions, the charter transformed the CSCE from a diplomatic process into an international organisation.
1994: at the Budapest Summit, OSCE countries agreed to rename the CSCE and to strengthen its institutions. The Budapest Document adopted at the summit reinforced the role of the Chairman-in-Office, the Secretary General, the Secretariat, the High Commissioner on National Minorities and the Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights.
January 1995: reflecting this change, the CSCE was renamed the OSCE.


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