The U.S. Mission to the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE): Advancing Security, Prosperity, and Human Rights

“We strongly support the OSCE Chair’s efforts to make progress on the region’s peace and security.  Sweden can count on the U.S. as a partner to advance OSCE principles.”

-Secretary Blinken January 29, 2021

The Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) is the world’s largest and most comprehensive regional security organization with 57 participating states from Europe and Eurasia, as well as Canada and the United States.  The OSCE’s foundational principles, enshrined in the 1975 Helsinki Final Act, constitute a comprehensive approach to security, recognizing that peace and prosperity in the region depends on respect for the sovereignty and territorial integrity of States as well as on respect for the human rights and fundamental freedoms of all individuals.

  • The OSCE is the primary multilateral organization through which the United States advances our goals across a vast region in the political-military, economic-environmental, and human dimensions of security.
  • U.S. engagement in the OSCE helps to: prevent and resolve conflicts; address regional and transnational threats; rebuild and enhance military transparency and predictability; promote sustainable economic and environmental policies; combat corruption; advance democratic reforms; defend human rights and fundamental freedoms; support civil society and independent media; and promote tolerance and non-discrimination.

Political-Military Dimension

  • Our engagement in the OSCE together with our democratic Allies and partners plays an important role in defending the sovereignty and territorial integrity of Ukraine against aggression. This aggression includes Russia’s occupation and purported annexation of Crimea and its ongoing aggression in eastern Ukraine.  The United States supports implementation of the Minsk agreements through various fora, especially the OSCE-led Trilateral Contact Group, as well as Normandy format consultations.  The United States is the largest single contributor of financing and personnel to the multinational OSCE Special Monitoring Mission to Ukraine, which provides critical information on the security situation in Ukraine.  The United States supports the OSCE’s work on Europe’s protracted conflicts and its role in the Geneva International Discussions, which address the security and humanitarian consequences of Russia’s 2008 war in Georgia; the 5+2 talks to settle the Transnistrian conflict in Moldova; and the Minsk Group Co-Chair process to facilitate a peaceful and comprehensive settlement of the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict.
  • The United States continues to press for modernization of the OSCE’s Vienna Document to begin to rebuild trust and predictability through additional transparency and verification measures covering the participating States’ armed forces and their major equipment systems.

Economic and Environmental Dimension

  • The OSCE’s Second Dimension encompasses economic and environmental issues as an integral element of comprehensive security.
  • The United States supports the OSCE’s work to combat corruption and promote good governance, advance women’s economic empowerment, promote energy security, encourage environmental protection, expand consideration of climate-related security risks, and build climate resilience.
  • The United States has supported a number of projects under the OSCE Office of the Coordinator of Economic and Environmental Activities in its efforts to build the capacity of participating States to combat corruption and money laundering and to protect energy networks from natural and man-made disasters.

Human Dimension

  • The United States is a leading voice in OSCE meetings and events, championing human rights and fundamental freedoms of expression, peaceful assembly and association, and religion or belief. The OSCE is our premier venue in the region for defending the role of civil society and independent media, advancing democratic principles of government including free and fair elections and the rule of law, pressing for the release of political prisoners, condemning intolerance, and upholding the inherent dignity and equal rights of all individuals.
  • The United States supports the work of the three independent OSCE institutions – the Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights (ODIHR), the Representative on Freedom of the Media (RFoM), and the High Commissioner on National Minorities (HCNM). We also support the efforts of OSCE Personal Representatives of the OSCE Chairperson-in-Office (CiO) on Combating: Anti-Semitism; Intolerance and Discrimination against Muslims; and Racism, Xenophobia and Discrimination also focusing on Intolerance and Discrimination against Christians and Members of Other Religions.  We value the contributions of the OSCE experts who fight corruption, combat trafficking in persons, foster gender equality, and promote respect for the human rights of Roma and Sinti.