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OSCE/Ghada Hazim

Security and Human Rights Monitor Holds Visibility Event in Vienna

Stephanie Liechtenstein
News23 October 2017

Today the Austrian OSCE Chairmanship, together with the OSCE Secretariat, organized a Conflict Cycle Seminar, entitled “From Preventive Diplomacy to Sustainable Peace – Strengthening the OSCE’s Toolbox” for all OSCE delegations, including experts from capitals. The seminar was opened by Ambassador Florian Raunig, Head of the Austrian OSCE Chairmanship Taskforce, as well as by OSCE Secretary General, Ambassador Thomas Greminger.

In the course of the seminar, a visibility event was held to launch the latest special issue of the Security and Human Rights Journal on the topic of “Unravelling Complexities in OSCE Mediation”.

Anna Hess Sargsyan, the guest editor-in-chief of this special edition of the Journal is a mediation support expert and senior program officer at the Mediation Support Team at the Centre for Security Studies at the ETH Zurich. She introduced the rationale behind the special edition and shared key findings with OSCE delegations.

The special edition is an attempt to diffuse oversimplified narratives by unravelling the complexities involved in the mediation work of the OSCE. By unpacking these overgeneralised narratives, the publication takes a critical look at key factors that shape the mediation work of the OSCE: its institutional set-up as far as the conflict resolution mechanisms and relevant procedures are concerned; the geopolitical interests and tensions of participating States engaged in mediation processes; as well as specific process design related technicalities.

With this intention in mind, the publication brings together highly relevant perspectives of 16 different authors, ranging from practitioners to policy makers and academics, who provide a good mix of practical and theoretical insights into the complex world of OSCE mediation. The special edition also has a foreword by the current OSCE Chairperson-in-Office, Austrian Foreign Minister Sebastian Kurz. The special edition gives space for diverse views on the OSCE-led or supported peace processes as well as the nature of relevant protracted conflicts, covering different angles, including those of mediators, third parties and conflict parties. The conclusions of the different authors are aimed at stimulating debate and at providing concrete recommendations for OSCE practitioners and policy makers. The special edition of the journal can be accessed here:

In addition, the new Security and Human Rights Monitor website was presented at the event by Stephanie Liechtenstein, Web Editor-in-Chief.

The Security and Human Rights Monitor website is aimed at influencing the policy discourse and bridging the gap between academics and policy makers. It offers a variety of different publications, including a selection of open-access Journal articles as well as sections on policy, interviews, news and events. The new website thus fills a niche, as it is the only free publication that offers a systematic analysis of OSCE-related topics from a variety of perspectives.

The creation of this new website was made possible through the generous financial support of the governments of Austria, Germany, Liechtenstein and the Netherlands. The Web Editor-in-Chief thanked them for their contributions and for the leadership they have shown, and called on other OSCE delegations to consider funding the Security and Human Rights Monitor in order to ensure the publication’s long-term sustainability.


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