Expatica news

Belgium to lead OSCE in 2006

3 December 2003

BRUSSELS – Belgium has been chosen to head up the Organisation for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) for 2006, it was announced Tuesday in Maastricht.

The Pan-European organisation, which assembles 55 countries from Europe, Central Asia, the Caucuses, Canada and the US, forms what has been termed “Europe from Vancouver to Vladivostok.”

Belgium was the only candidate which was voted for unanimously, and will take over from Slovenia, which will act as president in 2005, following Bulgaria in 2004.

“This will be an interesting position from which to conduct a UN Security Council campaign – Belgium will have a non-permanent member seat on the Council for 2007-2008,” Michel told La Libre Belgique.

One of Belgium’s priorities during its presidency will be to create a college of multilateral organisations, bringing together bodies such as the UN, the EU and the OSCE, so as to better understand the working of each and delegate work so as to avoid duplicating it.

Michel also suggested using the EU’s cooperation philosophy to end conflicts, within the OSCE, and confirmed that the organisation’s 2004 conference on tolerance, racism and xenophobia would be held in Brussels.

The OSCE has a history of being the only organisation in with the US and Soviets cooperated during the Cold War, and organised and oversaw the election process in the Balkans and monitored ultra-nationalist medias.

After the fall of the Berlin Wall, the organisation dedicated itself to upholding stability in several areas of governance, including the military, politics, human rights, the environment, economy and, more recently, to the fight against terrorism.

[Copyright Expatica News 2003]

Subject: Belgian news