The Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) is the world's largest regional organization which consists of 57 participating States including all European countries, the CIS states, the US, Canada and Mongolia.
The OSCE mandate covers a wide range of issues within the politico-military, economic and environmental and human dimensions. All decisions within the OSCE are taken by consensus, and all participating States have an equal status.
The OSCE's comprehensive approach to security and a wide range of participants make the Organization an important and unique international forum for political dialogue.
The Republic of Belarus has been a full-fledged member of the OSCE since January 30, 1992. In 1992 the Permanent Delegation of the Republic of Belarus to the OSCE was established and has been operating since then in Vienna (Austria).
The participation in the OSCE activities is of principled significance for Belarus: the OSCE is an important venue and instrument for Belarus to promote its foreign policy initiatives, to maintain dialogue with key European institutions and the USA, to draw international expert assistance for the benefit of our state.
Belarus takes an active part in the process of elaborating and adopting OSCE decisions and documents. Belarus participates in the Organization's activities within the framework of the OSCE Permanent Council, the Forum for Security Cooperation, the Joint Consultative Group and the Open Skies Consultative Commission, as well as through practical implementation of the OSCE principles and mechanisms stipulated in the basic documents of the Organization.
Belarus’ representatives work in the OSCE Secretariat in Vienna, its institutions and field missions, including the Special Monitoring Mission in Ukraine. Since July 2016 Mrs. Natalya Drozd of Belarus has been heading the OSCE Office in Ashgabat.
The Delegation of the National Assembly of the Republic of Belarus is a full-fledged member of the OSCE Parliamentary Assembly. In 2011 — 2014 Belarusian parliamentarians initiated the adoption by the Assembly of a number of resolutions on the issues of combatting trafficking in human beings, environmental security and sustainable economy, promotion of social and economic rights in the OSCE area.
The 26th Annual Session of the OSCE Parliamentary Assembly (PA) took place in Minsk from 5 to 9 July 2017 for the first time ever. In the course of the PA inaugural session the President of Belarus A.Lukashenko met with the OSCE PA President K.Muttonen and the OSCE Chairperson–in-Office, Federal Minister of Foreign Affairs of Austria S.Kurz.
The resolution initiated by Belarus’ delegation on the topic of Developing a Timely and Effective Legislative, Regulatory and Administrative Response to the Emergence of New Psychoactive Substances was passed with almost unanimous support of the OSCE PA members.
The Republic of Belarus has been developing pragmatic and constructive co-operation with the OSCE Institutions – Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights (ODIHR), Representative on Freedom of the Media, as well as the OSCE Secretariat, including Coordinator of the OSCE Economic and Environmental Activities and Special Representative / Coordinator for Combating Trafficking in Human Beings.
The OSCE Advisory and Monitoring Group (AMG) functioned in Belarus in 1998 — 2002, and the OSCE Office in Minsk (OOM) operated there in 2003 — 2010. A number of significant projects of international technical assistance were implemented in Belarus through these field operations.
Currently Belarus is cooperating directly with the OSCE Secretariat and Institutions on the development of a range of joint projects.
Since 2007 a large-scale joint OSCE-UNDP project named “Capacity Building for small arms and light weapons (SALW) control and ensuring their safe storage” has been implementing in Belarus. The project aims at strengthening safety of the SALW storage and improving stockpile management of this type of weapons at 15 facilities of the Ministry of Defense of Belarus.
A pilot package of technical assistance projects was implemented in Belarus in 2012 – 2014 including projects within politico-military dimension, frontier cooperation, environmental security, fight with domestic violence and human trafficking.
The joint visit to Minsk of the OSCE Secretary General L.Zannier and the OSCE ODIHR Director M.G. Link in June 2015 was a landmark foreign policy event which laid a solid basis for strengthening constructive interaction between Belarus and the OSCE. During the visit the high-ranking OSCE representatives met with the President of Belarus, the Minister of Foreign Affairs, the Minister of Defense, and speakers of the Parliament of Belarus.
On the sidelines of the visit the second package of the OSCE direct technical assistance projects was endorsed to be implemented in Belarus in 2015-2017. The OSCE Secretary General and the Minister of Defense signed into force the Memorandum of Understanding on the joint project on the utilization of the liquid propellant’s components with the estimated cost of 1.3 million Euro.
During the last meeting of the OSCE Ministerial Council in Vienne (7-8 December 2017) Minister of Foreign Affairs of Belarus V.Makei met with the new OSCE Secretary General T.Greminger, who highly appreciated Belarus’ contribution to the OSCE activities. The General Secretary underscored his interest in developing further project cooperation with Belarus and conducting joint events.
Belarus is traditionally in favor of a comprehensive reform of the OSCE, elimination of current misbalances and shortcomings in all three dimensions of security, the OSCE’s transformation into a full-fledged efficient international organization, acting in the interests of all participating States.
Belarus actively supports the priority role of the OSCE, as stipulated by the Charter for European Security, in conflict settlement within its area of responsibility based on the respect for sovereignty and territorial integrity of the participating States.