Kazakhstan’s Chairmanship of the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE)

Kazakhstan began its duties as chair of the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE) on January 1, 2010. This is a historic achievement given that Kazakhstan is the first former Soviet Union republic to lead the OSCE.

The primary focus of the OSCE, with its 56 member states, is to promote economic and security cooperation. Addressing these issues has never been more important throughout the world than today. It is a great honor and responsibility for Kazakhstan to work with its fellow member states to build on the progress achieved by former chairs and to discuss and develop viable solutions to pressing challenges.

We invite you to visit this area often to learn about the OSCE, review news, and be updated on the progress and activities that occur throughout the year.

For more information, visit Kazakhstan’s OSCE Online Headquarters and the OSCE Homepage.

About the Chairperson-in-Office

aboutthechairpersonThe Chairperson-in-Office (CiO) provides the political leadership of the OSCE and oversees the Organization’s activities in conflict prevention, crisis management and post-conflict rehabilitation. The CiO is also responsible for the external representation of the OSCE and for OSCE appointments.

Kazakhstan holds the OSCE Chairmanship in 2010. Kazakhstan’s Secretary of State and Minister of Foreign Affairs Kanat Saudabayev is the current Chairperson-in-Office.

  • Secretary of State — Minister of Foreign Affairs from September 2009
  • Secretary of State from May 2007
  • Ambassador to the United States from December 2000 to May 2007
  • Head of the Prime Minister’s Chancellery with the rank of Cabinet Member from 1999 to 2000
  • Ambassador to the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland and also accredited to Norway and Sweden, from 1996 to 1999
  • Foreign Minister in 1994
  • Ambassador to Turkey from 1994 to 1996

Minister Saudabayev holds a Ph.D. degree in philosophy from Kazakh State University and a Ph.D. degree in political science from Moscow State University. He is a graduate of the Leningrad State Institute of Culture and the Academy of Social Sciences attached to the Central Committee of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union. Prior to joining the diplomatic service, he had a distinguished career in culture and the arts, earlier serving as director of the Kazakh Academic Theatre and later as Chairman of the State Committee of Culture. He speaks Kazakh, Russian, English and Turkish.

About the OSCE

General Background

The Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE) is a pan-European structure comprising 56 participating states. It was established under Chapter VIII of the United Nations Charter as the primary instrument for early warning and prevention of crisis situations, resolution of existing conflicts, and post-conflict rehabilitation in Europe.

A wide range of issues falls under the Organization’s purview, including arms control, preventive diplomacy, strengthening of confidence- and security-building measures, human rights, observation of elections, and also economic and environmental security.

The OSCE regards security as an integrated concept and operates in three “dimensions”: politico-military, economic and environmental, and human.

History of the OSCE

In the early 1970s, the Conference on Security and Co-operation in Europe (CSCE) was functioning as a multilateral forum to promote a dialogue between the East and the West. The Helsinki Final Act of 1975 established the basic principles for the behavior of the participating states of the CSCE toward their own citizens and also among themselves.

Until 1990, the CSCE functioned as a series of meetings and conferences, at which norms and obligations were reviewed and information on their implementation was reported periodically.

The turning point in the forum’s activities was the Paris Summit of 1990. The Charter of Paris for a New Europe called upon the CSCE to play its part in the management of the process of historic changes in Europe and to respond to the new challenges arising after the end of the Cold War. For the purpose of dealing with these tasks, the meetings were placed on a regular footing and the work of the Conference was given a systematic character.

In November 1990, an important agreement—the Treaty on Conventional Armed Forces in Europe (CFE Treaty)—was reached during negotiations as part of the CSCE process.

At the Budapest Summit in 1994, it was decided to rename the CSCE the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE). This gave a fresh political impetus to the Organization’s work and, at the same time, was an indication of the course of its institutional development.

The Lisbon Summit of 1996 adopted the Declaration on a Common and Comprehensive Security Model for Europe for the Twenty-First Century, and approved a framework for arms control and the development of the agenda of the Forum for Security Co-operation. It was then that the idea of the OSCE’s key role in strengthening security and stability in all the dimensions underwent further development. The Summit resulted in the adoption in 1999 in Istanbul of the Charter for European Security, which envisages enhancement of the Organization’s operational capabilities. At the same time, 30 participating states of the OSCE adopted the Istanbul Declaration and signed the Agreement on Adaptation of the Treaty on Conventional Armed Forces in Europe.

OSCE Participating States

The OSCE has 56 participating states, which include all the European countries, the USA, Canada, and the States of Central Asia and the Caucasus. The following is the complete list of the OSCE participating states:

Albania, Andorra, Armenia, Austria, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Belgium, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Canada, Croatia, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Georgia, Germany, Greece, Holy See, Hungary, Iceland, Ireland, Italy, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Malta, Moldova, Monaco, Montenegro, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Russian Federation, San Marino, Serbia, Slovak Republic, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Tajikistan, Turkey, Turkmenistan, Ukraine, United Kingdom, United States of America, Uzbekistan.

There are 11 countries that have the status of “Partners for Co-operation”:

Mediterranean partners – Algeria, Egypt, Israel, Jordan, Morocco, and Tunisia;

Asian partners—Australia, Afghanistan, Japan, Mongolia, Republic of Korea, and Thailand.

2010 OSCE Chairmanship

In its role as the 2010 OSCE Chairman-in-Office (CiO), the Republic of Kazakhstan intends to follow the “Ministerial Troika” of 2009-2011 and the newly developed “Quintet” format. Kazakhstan, the first non-European CiO, will pay specific attention to its Chairmanship agenda by focusing on long-standing OSCE agenda items, such as:

  • Democracy
  • Human rights
  • Frozen conflicts

At the same time, Kazakhstan intends to introduce its own unique ideas:

  • Security – Strengthening security in Central Asia is one of the most important priorities of Kazakhstan’s efforts within the OSCE. In addition, Kosovo’s independence may help to end frozen conflicts in Transcaucasia (Nagorno-Karabakh, Abkhazia) and other European regions (Crimea, Moldavia).
  • Interreligious tolerance – Kazakhstan will enhance international laws that strengthen interreligious and ethnic tolerance in the OSCE’s zone of responsibility. Foreign Minister Tazhin’s 2008 commitments to cooperate with the OIC and OSCE also illustrate Kazakhstan’s determination in strengthening interreligious and interethnic dialogue at all levels.
  • Energy security – In support of the EU energy security agenda, Kazakhstan will strengthen alternative energy. This correlates with the United States’ policies of energy security, such as the Clean-Technology Fund, that focus on alternative energy and the development of clean technologies.
  • Economic dimension – The core of Kazakstan’s economic vision consists of the following goals:
    • Promote systemic market reforms
    • Enhance healthy financial systems and markets
    • Improve governance
    • Increase transparency
    • Expand anti-corruption efforts.

These goals, along with additional assistance and significant investments, will be directed towards OSCE member countries, including:

  • Georgia
  • Kyrgyzstan
  • Tajikistan
  • Armenia
  • Ukraine
  • Romania
  • Bulgaria
  • Turkey

Political integration

Afghanistan – Kazakhstan is the only Central Asian (CA) country to adopt a Government plan to assist Afghanistan. According to the plan, Kazakhstan will construct a motorway, build a school and hospital, as well as supply agricultural stock to Afghanistan. The Plan’s budget is $3 million dollars for 2008. Afghanistan has also become one of Kazakhstan’s national security priorities; consequently, methods to enhance cooperation are being discussed in the following fields:

  • Trade
  • The mineral sector
  • International auto and air communication
  • Mutual protection of investments.