On January 1, 2014 Switzerland assumed the rotating Chairmanship of the OSCE for 2014 with Switzerland’s Foreign Minister Didier Burkhalter as Chairperson-in-Office.

Ukraine held the presidency of the OSCE in 2013.

According to the OSCE press office, Switzerland wants to make a tangible contribution to fostering security and stability, improving people’s lives and strengthening the OSCE’s capacity to act, new OSCE Chairperson-in-Office Burkhalter said.

Highlighting the Swiss Chairmanship’s leitmotif ‘Create a Security Community for the Benefit of Everyone’, he stressed that the OSCE “is about common security delivered by all and for all – by all countries and for all countries, by all people and for all people”.

The Swiss OSCE Chairmanship will work towards securing the full implementation of existing commitments in the Human Dimension; it will  concentrate on combating torture, respecting human rights, including minority rights, promoting democratic elections, and strengthening the rule of law in combating  terrorism. Work to combat transnational threats generally and natural disaster preparedness and response are also high on the agenda. 

Emphasizing the importance of interesting young people in the OSCE, Burkhalter said that 57 young people from 57 participating States have been enlisted to take part in a Model OSCE initiative starting in January 2014.

“Good politics is always at the service of the people. Switzerland will work closely with both civil society representatives and youth during its chairmanship,” he concluded.

The Minister will present Switzerland’s priorities to the OSCE Permanent Council in Vienna on 16 January.


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