Polish OSCE Presidency. Zbigniew Rau: the main idea is to ease civilians

Polish OSCE Presidency. Zbigniew Rau: the main idea is to ease civilians
Polish OSCE Presidency. Zbigniew Rau: the main idea is to ease civilians

The priority of the Polish Presidency will be to actively prevent and mitigate conflicts and crisis situations, Rau announced during the OSCE Ministerial Council in Stockholm in December. The annual presidency of Sweden was summed up at the meeting and the presidency was handed over to Poland.

Poland chairs the OSCE for the second time

As announced by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Minister Rau will officially inaugurate the Polish presidency and present its priorities on January 13 at the meeting of the OSCE Permanent Council in Vienna. Poland will cooperate within the so-called OSCE troika with Sweden – which led the work of the OSCE in 2021 – and North Macedonia, which will take over the presidency in 2023.

Poland took the chairmanship of the OSCE under the decision of the OSCE Ministerial Council in Bratislava of December 5, 2019, and will hold this position for the second time in history. Poland chaired the Organization for the first time in 1998.

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In mid-July in Vienna, during the meeting of the OSCE Permanent Council, Minister Rau said that during the presidency Poland wanted to strive for stability and security in the region. He emphasized that one of the most extreme and current challenges in the area of ​​European security is the resolution of the conflict in Ukraine. He also drew attention to the so-called frozen conflicts, among which he mentioned, inter alia, the situation in Belarus, Moldova, Georgia and the conflict between Armenia and Azerbaijan.

In Rau’s opinion, Poland is taking over the chairmanship of the OSCE in a very difficult time. Polish priorities are to come down to the so-called three dimensions or three baskets of OSCE activities. – The first is the sphere of military and political conflicts, the second is economic issues, and the third is human rights – said the head of Polish diplomacy in Vienna.

Rau: The most important thing is to relieve civilians

– What is most important for the Polish presidency (…) comes down to looking for ways, first of all, to alleviate civilians who are injured as a result of prolonged, unresolved conflicts. We are especially concerned with people most affected by such conflicts – women, children, the elderly, the disabled – emphasized Rau.

According to him, so far these issues have appeared in the activities of the OSCE, but have never been set as priorities. – And this is what we are going to strive for (…) I will try to make this the guiding principle of the Polish Presidency – announced the minister.

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The OSCE brings together 57 states, inhabited by over a billion people. In addition to European countries, the Organization includes the USA, Canada, Mongolia, and the Central Asian states established after the collapse of the USSR: Uzbekistan, Kazakhstan, Tajikistan, Kyrgyzstan and Turkmenistan.

The genesis of the Organization is derived from the Final Act of the Conference on Security and Co-operation in Europe in Helsinki in 1975. The formal decision to transform the CSCE into the OSCE was made at the Budapest summit in 1994. The work of the OSCE focuses on three dimensions: politico-military, economic and environmental and human, which together form a comprehensive security concept unique for the OSCE.


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