Cyprus Takes Over the Chairmanship of the OSCE Forum for Security Co-operation

PeopleDiplomats ♦ Published: January 22, 2024; 16:28 ♦ (Vindobona)

On the international stage, Cyprus has now assumed the Chairmanship of the Forum for Security Co-operation (FSC) of the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE). Cypriot Foreign Minister Dr. Constantinos Kombos opened the meeting in Vienna and outlined Cyprus' priorities for his term.

In his address to the opening session of the Vienna Forum for Security Co-operation, Cyprus' Foreign Minister Constantinos Kombos calls for a stronger peace cooperation between countries. / Picture: © OSCE/Micky Kroell, ID 561631, (CC BY-ND 4.0)

Minister Kombos emphasized the great responsibility and strong commitment of Cyprus to further develop the knowledge and experience of the previous Chairmanships. This will be done in close cooperation with the FSC Troika and the OSCE Chairmanship, currently held by Malta. Cyprus recognizes that its Chairmanship comes at a time of profound reflection due to Russia's unjustified war, which is having a devastating impact on victims while affecting the security and stability of the continent and beyond.

A program with specific themes

The program of the Cyprus FSC Chairmanship includes a series of sessions on specific topics with international experts. These include humanitarian demining, the application of International Humanitarian Law in armed conflict with a focus on gender-based violence, the role of security forces in environmental protection and climate change response, and the agenda on women, peace, and security. All these thematic areas will take into account gender equality as an overarching priority of the Presidency.

Minister Kombos emphasized the importance of the OSCE as the main regional platform for dialogue, with a unique comprehensive approach to security. "Maintaining peace should continue to be our collective compass," he said.

The role of the FSC

The FSC is an autonomous decision-making body of the OSCE to maintain military security and stability in the OSCE area. It brings together delegates from all 57 participating States every week and contributes to the implementation of confidence- and security-building measures governing the exchange of military information between States. In addition, the FSC plays an important role in the implementation of the Code of Conduct, a crucial document to ensure democratic control of the security forces by the participating states.

Cyprus will chair the FSC meetings until April 2024 and will be supported in its work by Canada and Croatia, the outgoing and incoming presidencies of the Forum, forming with them the FSC Troika. The first meeting of the Troika took place on January 12, 2024, marking the beginning of the official work of the Cyprus Presidency.