With 57 North American, European, and Asian member countries, the OSCE – Organisation for Security and Cooperation in Europe – is the largest regional security organisation in the world. It acts to ensure stability, peace, and democracy by means of political dialogue and projects in the field, in the physical and political space that extends from Vancouver to Vladivostok.
The OSCE adopts a global, cooperative approach to security. It covers a wide range of questions connected with security, including armaments control, preventive diplomacy, measures aimed at increasing trust and security, human rights, democratisation, and economic and environmental security. All the Countries involved in the OSCE’s activities have equal status, and decisions are taken based on the principle of consensus.
The Organisation’s activities can be broken down into three basic sectors: the political – military dimension that deals with military aspects of security; the economic – environmental dimension that mainly deals with questions regarding energy, the environment, and economic development; and the human dimension, dedicated to the rule of law, and safeguarding human rights.
The Foreign Affairs Ministries of the OSCE’s member Countries hold meetings annually, referred to as Ministerial Councils. Heads of State and Governments can meet at ad-hoc summits. The ordinary OSCE body for political consultation and the decision-making process is the Permanent Council, in which the permanent representatives of the member Countries meet.
The OSCE’s internal structure comprises: a Secretary General’s Office based in Vienna; three Institutions with specialist work areas, that is, the Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights (ODIHR), the Representative for Freedom of Means of Information and High Commissioner for National Minorities; and its own network of Missions that work in the Balkans, the Caucasus, Central Asia, and in some ex-Republics of the Soviet Union, including Ukraine, which currently has the most extensive OSCE mission.
The Secretariat, Specialist Institutions, and Field Missions are run by approved experts, mostly selected on a secondment basis, that is, they are employed by the OSCE based on candidacies promoted by their Countries of origin. Other experts work under direct contracts with the OSCE. Currently, more than 70 Italian functionaries are engaged in the field, at various levels. For information on job opportunities with the OSCE we recommend you visit the website of Italy’s Permanent representation at the OSCE – Vienna and the specific section in this website (https://www.esteri.it/it/opportunita/nelle_oo_ii/osce/).