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As part of its Peace and Stabilization Strategies series, the Casimir Pulaski Foundation in partnership with the Institute for Human Sciences in Vienna (IWM) on 23rd January will hold a public discussion on the future of the security dialogue in the OESC area.

The debate comes as tensions between Russia and the West are high. The risk of accidents or incidents is great. There is little progress in the implementation of a cease-fire in eastern Ukraine. Many protracted and “frozen” conflicts in the OSCE are in danger of escalating and heating up. And there is little dialogue.

In order to de-escalate this crisis and promote greater understanding and cooperation, is it time for a new dialogue about European security? What are the opportunities and risks, not least with a new American President? And what could be the role of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) under Austria’s Chairmanship in 2017? The participants of the debate are:

Opening remarks by Marcin Bużański

Peace and Stabilistation Programme Director, Casimir Pulaski Foundation, Warsaw

  • Walter Kemp (Chair)

Senior Advisor Austrian 2017 OSCE Chairmanship, IWM Visiting Fellow

  • Ivan Krastev

IWM Permanent Fellow; Chair, Centre for Liberal Strategies, Sofia

  • Sergey Markedonov

Associate Professor, Russian State University for Humanities, Moscow; former IWM Guest (Russia in Global Dialogue)

  • Ambassador Christian Strohal

Special Representative for the Austrian OSCE Chairmanship 2017

The session will be broadcasting live via the link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qwHak1oG1jw

More information on: http://www.iwm.at/events/event/we-need-to-talk/

We would also like to inform that on 24th January there will be a closed session with participation of ambassadors of the OSCE countries as well as prominent security experts.

As a part of the informal dialogue that is supported by the Austrian OSCE Chairmanship the following topics will be touched upon: the situation in Ukraine, the increase of tensions between Russia and the NATO countries, the unresolved conflicts and tensions in Moldova, Armenia, Georgia and Azerbaijan or the strengthening operations and missions of the OSCE. Both of the events are supported by the Austrian Chairmanship in the OSCE and they contribute directly to the dialogue regarding the biggest challenges for the security. A general summary of discussions will be presented following the event.


The thematic outline of the seminar

The Organization for Security and Cooperation and Europe (OSCE) – based in Vienna – has a central role in shaping spaces for security dialogue. In the current security environment with global and regional powers polarization, threats of extremism and terrorism, there is a need to look for more robust diplomatic engagement – reinforcing some of the key mechanism at OSCE disposal. The time for the discussion on the changing role of OSCE in the current environment is timely, as several frozen conflicts in the south and east of Europe remain unresolved; their stability remains fragile, and prone to shocks and escalation.

How would such a renewed security dialogue be structured, particularly under Austria’s Chairmanship of the OSCE in 2017? What are the perspectives for countries where protracted, frozen or “heating up” conflicts exist? As part of the security dialogue, what new approaches can be taken to address protracted or even hot conflicts? What are the strengths and weaknesses of the current mediation processes promoting settlements related to Nagorno-Karabakh, Transnistria, Abkhazia, South Ossetia and eastern Ukraine? What security regimes could be envisioned to stabilize these regions? Is there a greater scope for the OSCE peace operations? What steps can be taken to normalize the lives of the people in or near the territories concerned?

The aim of the seminars is to discuss the above mentioned issues as well as to create a space for a dialog to promote peace and stability in the wider Europe. As a result of the meetings there will be a report published with the most relevant outcomes of the discussion and recommendations.

The seminars in Vienna will gather many distinguished experts and practitioners in the security field. They are to promote Poland’s engagement and the Polish experts as engaged in finding global solutions and resolving the international conflicts in our times.