The 21st Ministerial Council of the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE) is due to begin here later on Thursday, with presence of some 50 foreign ministers.
The annual event is held under an invitation of the 2014 OSCE Chairperson-in-Office, Switzerland’s Foreign Minister Didier Burkhalter.
The Ministerial Council is the central decision-making and governing body of the OSCE. The meeting involves foreign ministers and more than 70 delegations of OSCE participating states, partner countries and several international organizations. The participants have the opportunity to review and assess the organization’s activities during the past year and offer national viewpoints on security matters.
Meanwhile, the ministers will discuss the Ukraine crisis and common challenges within and beyond the OSCE area. The council will set the course for the future work of the organization with Serbia taking the chair from January 1. OSCE has its origins in the 1975 Conference on Security and Co-operation in Europe (CSCE) held in Helsinki, Finland. It has 550 staff at its headquarters in Vienna, Austria, with 2,300 field staff.