OSCE Strengthens Cooperation Between Europe and Asia

PeopleDiplomats ♦ Published: June 17, 2022; 09:14 ♦ (Vindobona)

At the recent OSCE Asia Conference in Vienna, participants discussed synergies and opportunities for cooperation between the European organization and its Asian partners. Members strongly condemned Russia's invasion of Ukraine and called for a return to multilateralism.

Logo of the OSCE Asian Partnership for Co-operation. / Picture: © OSCE / Logo of the OSCE Asian Partners for Co-operation

Recently, the OSCE Asia 2022 Conference was held in Vienna. During the event, held at the Hofburg Palace in Vienna, participants discussed synergies and opportunities for cooperation, with a particular focus on the role of women in building trust, peace and security; climate-related security challenges; and the role of contemporary civil society.

The conference, which was held both online and in person in Vienna, was hosted by Sweden, the 2022 Chair of the OSCE Asian Partners for Co-operation Group.

Participants in the event included OSCE States and OSCE Asian Partners, which include Afghanistan, Australia, Japan, Republic of Korea, and Thailand. Through an ongoing dialogue, the Vienna-based OSCE hopes to provide a valuable platform for all stakeholders to share experiences and best practices and create new synergies.

At the recent Asia Conference, Swedish Foreign Minister Ann Linde had the honor of delivering the opening speech, during which she emphasized that the conference offered a unique opportunity to strengthen the partnership between the OSCE and the Asian region.

Together, they would have the opportunity to preserve the international system, which is based on rules that guarantee the same rights to all people.

Referring to the complex challenges posed by Russia's ongoing aggression against Ukraine and last year's negative developments in Afghanistan, the minister said, "The only way to address the acute challenges we face is to jointly reaffirm our commitments while holding those who violate them accountable."

Adam Hałaciński, Ambassador of Poland and Permanent Representative of Poland to the OSCE and Chairperson of the OSCE Permanent Council, also stressed in his address that as we monitor the changing security landscape across the OSCE area, in Asia and beyond, the OSCE faces challenges whose nature is not limited to the territory of one state or even one region.

"Russian aggression against Ukraine is not only a tragedy for Ukraine and a fundamental challenge for the international community, but also changes international relations on a global scale," said Ambassador Hałaciński.

"The war on Ukraine remains our clear focus, and at the same time the work we are doing together with our partners is crucial," said OSCE Secretary General Helga Maria Schmid. "This conference is an opportunity to share our work on a range of issues - including our work to assess and manage potential security risks resulting from climate change - and to learn from the experiences of our Asian partners."

"The world needs more multilateralism, not less," said Sarun Charoensuwan, Deputy Permanent Secretary for Foreign Affairs of Thailand. "Especially in these difficult times, we must explore and exhaust all opportunities to continue dialogue that paves the way for win-win solutions and further intensify international cooperation on all fronts."

The annual OSCE Asia Conference provides an opportunity for OSCE participating States and Partners for Co-operation to share experiences and lessons learned in Asia.

OSCE Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe