Bosnia and Herzegovina is the New FSC Chairmanship of the OSCE

PeopleDiplomats ♦ Published: January 24, 2023; 23:41 ♦ (Vindobona)

Bosnia and Herzegovina was recently appointed to hold the Forum for Security Co-operation (FSC) Chairmanship for the first term of 2023. Each meeting's agenda is set by the Chairmanship, which emphasizes issues concerning the implementation of commitments adopted by the Forum. Bosnia and Herzegovina shows empathy with Ukraine, due to the country's own history of violent conflicts.

Josip Brkić (l.), Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs of Bosnia and Herzegovina, and Tuula Yrjölä (r.), Director of the OSCE Conflict Prevention Centre. / Picture: © OSCE / ID 536142, (CC BY-ND 4.0)

In opening the country's FSC Chairmanship, Josip Brkić, Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs of Bosnia and Herzegovina, emphasized the need for the FSC to help stop the war and diminish its impact on Ukraine and the region. Due to its tragic and relatively recent history, Bosnia and Herzegovina certainly understands the pain of the Ukrainian people, assured Brkić.

During the next four months, the Chairmanship will draw on Bosnia and Herzegovina's experiences. The OSCE will focus on implementing the OSCE Code of Conduct on Politico-Military Aspects of Security, demining, implementing lessons learned from regional approaches to small arms and light weapons (SALWs) and conventional ammunition stocks, and increasing women's participation in peace and security decision-making.

"It is quite fitting for this Forum, tasked with both security and cooperation, to do our utmost to contribute to ending the bloodshed and work on restoring and maintaining lasting peace and cooperation", Brkić said.

"We have much work to do", added Brkić and elaborated that around this "table in particular, we need a lot more dialogue and a lot less monologue from all of us." In the OSCE region, this forum owes it to its citizens and children to put "differences aside and end wars, bloodshed, and conflicts", according to the new chairperson. "Let's work together for a common good and a common future", suggested Brkić.

Many embassies congratulated Bosnia and Herzegovina on its new important position within the OSCE and wished it success in the coming months. Thus, the missions to OSCE of Norway, the EU, and many more congratulated the new chairmanship. Also, Russia showed itself positively in a Twitter post.

The U.S. Mission was also pleased with the chairmanship of the FSC by Bosnia and Herzegovina. As a result of Bosnia and Herzegowina's recent history of war and conflict, including many civilian deaths and displacements, U.S. Ambassador Michael Carpenter acknowledged that Bosnia and Herzegowina's representatives are better able to appreciate the fragility of our European security architecture than others.

The Bosnian Ambassador to the OSCE Siniša Bencun also expressed his pleasure and honor at the important role of his country in the coming months.

About the Forum for Security Co-operation

Three times a year, the Forum for Security Co-operation's Chairmanship rotates. In accordance with the French alphabet, the FSC Chairmanship rotates precisely every four months. Each meeting's agenda is set by the Chairmanship, which also draws attention to issues related to the Forum's commitments.

The FSC Chairmanship for 2023 is currently being held by Bosnia and Herzegovina. Belgium preceded it, and Bulgaria will follow. Together, the incoming and outgoing Chairpersons form the FSC Troika, which assists the Chairperson. A Tentative Annual Working Programme for the FSC is jointly developed by the three successive Chairmanships each year.