Switzerland welcomes agreement on new OSCE Chair

Press releases, 01.12.2023

The participating states of the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE) have agreed on its 2024 chairpersonship at the annual Ministerial Council held this year in Skopje. The current chair, North Macedonia, will conclude its term at the end of the year, and Malta will assume the position thereafter. At the meeting in Skopje, Federal Councillor Ignazio Cassis underscored his support for Malta's chairpersonship and welcomed the agreement of the participating states, which was made possible after lengthy negotiations.

Participants at the OSCE Ministerial Council in Skopje have taken a number of key decisions concerning the future of the organisation in the coming years. The 57 participating states, which include Switzerland, confirmed at the end of the conference that Malta will take over as chair in 2024. Taking part at this year's Ministerial Council, Mr Cassis underscored his support for Malta's chairpersonship. "I would like to thank my Maltese counterpart for taking over as chair during these challenging times," he said.

The comprehensive negotiations at this year’s Ministerial Council also resulted in a extension of the mandates for the organisation's key positions, a decision that Mr Cassis also welcomes. Switzerland has been committed to strengthening the OSCE's capacity to act for a number of years.

This year's Ministerial Council has taken place under difficult circumstances. Russia's military aggression has led to a major loss of confidence among OSCE participating states. Against this backdrop, the agreements reached in Skopje can be considered a success.

In spite of the current challenges, Switzerland continues to view the OSCE as a key component of the European security architecture. The OSCE facilitates dialogue with non-aligned states in the region and has a range of conflict prevention and crisis management instruments at its disposal.

This year's Ministerial Council began on 30 November and was brought to a close today.

Further information:

Article: Switzerland and the OSCE working together for peace and security in Europe
Switzerland's foreign policy strategy for 2020–23
Plenary statement by Federal Councillor Ignazio Cassis

OSCE Action Plan 2022-2025(pdf, 3824kb)

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