Priorities and programme
With a unanimous decision of the OSCE Participating States in 2016, Italy was elected to hold OSCE’s rotating Chairmanship for 2018. Therefore, from 1st January to 31st December 2018, our Country will coordinate the decision-making process and will set the priorities for the Organization’s activities in the field of Security and Cooperation in Europe.
In fulfilling its tasks, the Italian Chairmanship is assisted by the outgoing Chairmanship (Austria) and by the one designated for 2019 (Slovakia). The three chairmanships jointly form the “OSCE Troika”. The functions of the OSCE Chairperson-in-Office will be performed by the Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation.
As the Chairperson-in-Office for 2018, Italy held the Chairmanship of the Contact Group with the six OSCE Mediterranean partner countries in 2017 and, in 2019, will hold the Chairmanship of the Contact Group with the five OSCE Asian partner countries.
Furthermore, as of 1st October 2017, as the Country designated for the incoming Chairmanship, Italy holds the chair of the OSCE Advisory Committee on Management and Finance.
OSCE’s next Ministerial Council will be held under the Italian Chairmanship in Milan on 6-7 December 2018.
Italy’s action as the Chair of OSCE will be based on the following priorities:
- Following up on the action undertaken by the preceding Chairmanships, full political support shall be given to the efforts to seek a solution to the Ukraine crisis, on the basis of the Minsk agreements and in the Normandy format. At the same time, utmost attention shall be dedicated to the role of OSCE in “protracted” conflicts (Nagorno-Karabakh, Transnistria, Georgia: Abkhazia and Ossetia).
- Focusing greater attention on the challenges and opportunities arising in the Mediterranean, including migrations, as was stressed at the OSCE Mediterranean Conference held in
Palermo on 24 and 25 October 2017 (http://www.osce.org/event/2017-osce-mediterranean-conference);
- Taking a pro-active approach to OSCE’s three security “dimensions” (politico-military, economic and environmental, human rights) and on the new transnational threats (terrorism, cyber security, combating illegal trafficking, from drug trafficking to the trafficking of cultural property).
- Within the scope of the First Dimension (politico-military), particular attention will be dedicated to an in-depth analysis of the "Structured Dialogue on the current and future challenges and risks to security in the OSCE area", with a view to contributing to re-establishing a climate of trust among Participating States, stimulating a discussion on the evolution of security in Europe and on the ways of re-establishing an adequate level of “cooperative security”.
- Italy’s Chairmanship of the OSCE intends to continue the work carried out by the Austrian (2017) and German (2016) Chairmanships to strengthen OSCE’s Second Dimension (economic and environmental), as it represents an area in which shared and less divisive interests can contribute to foster an atmosphere of cooperation that could also be useful in more complex contexts. We shall aim to enhance dialogue on issues such as promoting economic progress and security through innovation, human capital, good governance and the transition towards renewable energy.
- Priority importance will also be given to the Third Dimension (human rights), in the conviction that respecting rights, fundamental freedoms and the rule of law are aspects that are indissolubly tied to our security. The Italian Chairmanship shall promote the universality and indivisibility of all fundamental rights, in addition to combating all forms of discrimination and intolerance. Special attention shall be focused on fighting human trafficking.
Italy and the OSCE
Since the creation of the Conference for Security and Co-operation in Europe (CSCE) in 1975, later becoming the OSCE in 1995, Italy has staunchly supported the Organization's role in assuring security in a very vast region that extends “from Vancouver to Vladivostok” and in promoting dialogue and cooperation among all the Participating States.
Today, Italy is among the Organization’s major contributors, in terms of both financial and of human resources.
Our Country is the third-largest contributor to the OSCE’s regular budget, on a par with the United Kingdom and France and slightly lower than the United States and Germany. The regular contributions increase with the payment of additional amounts for the more than 70 Italian officials seconded to the OSCE, for the participation of Italian observers to Election Observation Missions by the ODIHR (Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights) and for off-budget OSCE projects. Among the latter, particularly relevant is Italy’s contribution to funding the OSCE Special Monitoring Mission (SMM) to Ukraine, to which our Country contributes more than 20 observers.
In terms of human resources, Italy is currently the third-largest contributor of officials to the OSCE (figures at 31 December 2017) and holds one of the Organization’s top offices as High Commissioner on National Minorities in the person of Ambassador Lamberto Zannier, former OSCE Secretary General from 2011 to 2017.
Moreover, Italy’s Roberto Montella assumed his duties as Secretary General of the OSCE Parliamentary Assembly on 1 January 2016 (http://www.oscepa.org).