The OSCE as a Model for Peace Policies

The activities of the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE) can serve as a starting point for an effective peace policy. This organization’s great merit is having prevented war, but this has received little political recognition; on the contrary, in recent years, the OSCE has been increasingly relegated to political obscurity.

Read The OSCE

Like many international organizations, the OSCE is subject to tremendous budget constraints – measured against the objectives it is supposed to achieve. Although the OSCE budget was increased from the 21 million Euros it was allocated in 1994, it has slightly declined since 2000. In 2008 it amounted to 164 million Euros. This is about 0.5 % of Germany’s defense budget. One reason is that non-events such as the prevention of the escalation of violence do not attract much media attention.

Back in June 2000, the OSCE decided on an Action Plan for Gender Issues, that is, before UN Resolution 1325 of October 2000, which is similar in content. This document shows quite precisely that non-violent and non-military involvement in missions can only succeed if the gender dimension is part of the missions and is taken up by civil society in the conflict areas. The tangible practice of the OSCE has lagged behind its Action Plan in many respects. Change occurs very slowly. However, the OSCE has to deal with getting its missions authorized by the member states, and then to set them up and maintain them on site.