On 1 and 2 December 2010, the Heads of State and Government of the 56 OSCE member States will meet in Astana for what will be the first Summit meeting of the OSCE in eleven years. The objective of this Summit, to be held in the Kazakh capital, is to adopt a plan of action to enhance the relevance of the OSCE and its ability to act as a security-policy organization.
Federal Councillor Micheline Calmy-Rey will head the delegation representing Switzerland. In Astana, Switzerland will advocate in favour of strengthening conventional arms control among the OSCE member States. In this connection, the further development of the so-called Vienna Document on confidence and security-building measures is vested with particular importance. At the same time, Switzerland calls for a more consistent implementation of the existing commitments with regard to democracy and human rights, and would like to enhance the role of the OSCE in conflict prevention and resolution.
The OSCE emerged in 1994 from the Conference on Security and Cooperation in Europe (CSCE). In 1975, with the signing of the Helsinki Final Act, the Conference made a crucial contribution to resolving the East-West conflict. Since the fall of the Berlin Wall, the OSCE has been making a vital contribution to democracy-building in the former East-bloc countries. All of the European States, including the successor States to the Soviet Union, belong to the OSCE, as do the USA and Canada as well.
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