Some 50 foreign ministers of OSCE states to attend the 2014 Ministerial Council meeting in Basel

Bern, Press releases, 02.12.2014

The annual meeting of the Ministerial Council of the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE) will take place on 4 and 5 December 2014 in Basel at the invitation of the Swiss OSCE Chairmanship. The discussions of this central decision-making and management body of foreign ministers of OSCE participating States wilI focus on the situation in Ukraine on the first day and on combating international terrorism on the second. A civil society forum will take place in the run-up to the meeting on 3 December. The greater involvement of civil society – and young people – in the work of the OSCE is a priority of the 2014 Swiss Chairmanship.

 © 2014 Béatrice Devènes
© 2014 Béatrice Devènes

In light of events this year, the 2014 OSCE Ministerial Council meeting will focus on the following two main issues: the Ukraine crisis and the future of European security will be the subjects of discussion on the first day of the meeting of foreign ministers of OSCE participating States, 4 December 2014. The OSCE Chairperson-in Office, the President of the Swiss Confederation, Didier Burkhalter, will discuss the situation in Ukraine with the Foreign Ministers in an informal context in the evening of 3 December. On Friday 5 December, the discussions will focus on the issue of foreign fighters.

More than 70 delegations from OSCE participating States, partner States and several international organisations are expected in Basel.

The Ministerial Council is the most important decision-making and management body of the OSCE at foreign-minister level. Approximately 50 of the delegations present in Basel will be headed by a foreign minister. Each December the Ministerial Council sets the course of the organisation's work for the coming year. On 1 January 2015, the OSCE Chairmanship will pass to Serbia.

Civil society forum

The day before the Ministerial Council meeting is dedicated to civil society. On 3 December, representatives of civil society organisations will hold a forum to discuss the topics of tolerance and non-discrimination. At the end of their session, they will submit a statement to the OSCE Chairperson-in-Office, Didier Burkhalter, for the attention of the Ministerial Council. The greater involvement of civil society, especially of young people, in the OSCE's work is one of the priorities of the Swiss OSCE Chairmanship for 2014 and aims to give more importance to the voice civil society and youth within the OSCE.

Further information:

OSCE Chairmanship 2014
The 2014 Ministerial Council meeting on the OSCE website
Swiss Chairmanship of the OSCE on Twitter

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