Talk:Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe

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Northern hemisphere[edit]

First paragraph: "In its region, which covers most of the northern hemisphere," It think that's a bit misleading given China and India (for example) are in the northern hemisphere, and are not members. How about "much of the northern hemisphere"? And/or move the map higher up, above the index links.

I think this sentence should be deleted. It is false that it covers most of the northern hemisphere. Just confront the map with the one in the Northern Hemisphere article. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 18:43, 1 April 2014 (UTC)

Objections to Kazakhstan?[edit]

The article states "Kazakhstan is bidding to hold the Chairmanship in 2009, despite strong objections from the United States and the United Kingdom." Is there a source for this? What are the reasons for this objection? Is is based upon security, human rights or something else? —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 18:35, 2 December 2007 (UTC)

The objections were based on the fact that the Chairmanship is supposed to embody all the OSCE's values, including plurilateral democracy, freedom of the media, rule of law, etc. Kazakhstan's commitment to these values is tenuous at best, as the August 2007 elections revealed. Nonetheless a compromise has been agreed upon at the Madrid Ministerial, and Kazakhstan will now hold the Chairmanship in 2010.

Dmhaglund (talk) 09:32, 10 December 2007 (UTC)


maybe someone could include a map showing the member states?

Conventional Forces in Europe[edit]

The following text was merged into the section on history. The article has been deleted and redirected here. Ganymead 02:57, 29 Apr 2005 (UTC)

The Conference on Security and Cooperation in Europe

Keen to gain international recognition of its sphere of interest and believing that such recognition would solidify its grip on its East European satellite states, the Soviet Union, beginning in the early 1970s, sponsored an initiative calling for the convening of a Conference on Security and Cooperation in Europe (CSCE). For the West, such meetings meant the possibility of tying the Soviet Union and its satellites to an international security system, thereby lessening tensions, furthering economic cooperation, and obtaining humanitarian improvements for the people of Eastern Europe. The first of the series of conferences opened in July 1973 in Helsinki and was attended by the foreign ministers of the thirty-five member states. At the conference's final meeting in 1975, the heads of state of all member countries were in attendance for the signing of the Final Act, or the Helsinki Accords.

As subsequent CSCE conferences showed, Soviet officials had totally underestimated the effect of the provisions for the exchange of information, which allowed for the unscrambled reception of Western media broadcasts within the geographic area of the Warsaw Pact countries. East Germans benefited especially from access to West German radio and television programs, which furnished previously unobtainable news about world events. Television viewers in the East also became aware of an obviously far superior standard of living in the West and developed a new awareness of the deficiencies of the communist regime, an awareness that fifteen years later led to the events that brought down that regime.

This should not have been merged. It appears to be a copyright violation from [1]. --Anon 12:35, 17 Jun 2005 (UTC)


The external link to OSCEwatch looks inappropriate: this is a private group, with controversial (pro-russian) views. It seems that the only reason for the link is that OSCEwatch has 'OSCE' in its name.

Should we remove the link ?

OSCE Magazine and 2005 annual report[edit]

I am in regular receipt of the OSCE Magazine (whose subscription anyone in the participating states can request, gratis) and have just received the OSCE 2005 annual report. Perhaps I will add something later.... – Kaihsu 20:31, 15 July 2006 (UTC)

Coöperation — standardised and less awkward?[edit]

The website of OSCE says "Co-operation". Nearly no-one uses the spelling Coöperation and no English speaker is ever going to type it.

Sure it's cooler with the Heavy metal umlaut, but there's no real reason for it here. Please correct me if I'm wrong. --Amir E. Aharoni 06:38, 14 September 2006 (UTC)

The “standardised” comment referred to my instituting the diaeretic spelling throughout the article, to conform with its use in the title. The three correct alternative ways to spell the single word expressing the same meaning as the phrase “joint operation” are (in alphabetical order) “co-operate”, “cooperate”, and “coöperate”; true, “awkward” is a subjective judgement, but if I may share with you my rationale for changing the spelling to the latter of the three, perhaps you will agree...
The reason for not using “cooperate” is fairly obvious; the typical pronunciation for ‘oo’ is /uː/, which leads some people to stumble over this word, as it is correctly pronounced /koʊˈɒ.pə.ɹeɪt/, and not /ˈkuː.pə.ɹeɪt/ — English is difficult enough to spell already without adding yet another exception.
Hyphens, I believe, are best done away with as soon as possible in single words, being most useful in making compound neologisms more readable. However, “co-operate” is certainly not a neologism, and is familiar to most people fluent in English; therefore, retaining the hyphen is unnecessary (except for the pronunciatory reason given above). Hyphenated single words, in my opinion, look awkward, and are made even worse when adding another affix; “co-operate” and “co-operative” may seem fine to you, but how about “unco-operative”?
Therefore, the best of both worlds is found in “coöperate”, which looks like a whole word (no problem with “uncoöperative”, for example), whilst avoiding the distracting pronunciation problems (at first, at least) of using a second unaccented ‘o’. The diaeresis in “coöperate” has the same function as the one in “naïve” (which without the diaeresis would be pronounced /neɪv/ instead of /næˈiːv/) — to indicate that the vowel pair are not a digraph.
True, a number of readers will be unfamiliar with the usage, so, if you want, I’ll add an explanatory sentence in italics with a link at the top of both pages that I’ve moved. What do you say? Raifʻhār Doremítzwr 10:44, 14 September 2006 (UTC)
I'm all for Co-operation, because that's the form that the organization itself uses.
Wikipedia:Manual of Style says that the spelling in the article should follow the culture of the article's subject. The subject here is OSCE, and the OSCE spells it co-operation.
And what about OECD? --Amir E. Aharoni 11:19, 14 September 2006 (UTC)
Sorted. I suppose that you have a point. Although doesn’t that apply to color/colour and organisation/organization disputes? ~That is, in cases where the choice is entirely arbitrary, and there is no argument like the one above that can be given on either side?
Anyway, do you think the explanatory preface is necessary or not? Raifʻhār Doremítzwr 12:20, 14 September 2006 (UTC)
Yes, I do not think that the Manual of Style applies in this situation. This is a functional, non-partisan spelling. Raifʻhār Doremítzwr 12:31, 14 September 2006 (UTC)
Wikipedia could make hundreds of obfuscatory changes to its spelling practices to make English spelling "less awkward", sure, but it's just an unnecessary idiosyncracy of Wikipedia style that editors would have to follow and that readers would be clueless on. There's hardly any publication still around (the New Yorker being an exception) that uses diaereses for assimilated English words like cooperate. At best it was a fad practice, probably based on the model of French.
Performing a Google search for cooperation in theory returns every instance of cooperation, co-operation, and coöperation—but if you perform the search you'll have to go back at least a dozen pages before you hit coöperation. People just don't use it anymore, and readers are therefore not used to seeing it. It's the product of the same sort of pointless pedantry that insists, for example, of keeping the ligature in œsophagus or the circumflex on rôle. Strad 04:20, 15 September 2006 (UTC)
I support the move to "co-operation" for the reasons above. Peter O. (Talk) 00:30, 16 September 2006 (UTC)
If there are no objections I will move the page back and remove the diaereses around 00:00 18 September UTC Strad 15:45, 17 September 2006 (UTC)

I object. Strad’s objection centres on readers’ unfamiliarity with this use of the diaeresis; this is remedied if the abovementioned explanatory preface is added. I will add such a preface very soon (a few hours’ time at most). No one has yet repudiated my argument as to the functional superiority of the diaeretic spelling of coöperate, as well as others. Raifʻhār Doremítzwr 23:04, 17 September 2006 (UTC)

An explanation is just unnecessary and irrelevant clutter. The far more elegant solution is to use accepted spellings (which function perfectly fine, since everyone uses them) instead of trying to impose pet spellings and then having to explain them to everyone. Strad 23:33, 17 September 2006 (UTC)
The explanatory preamble has been added. I fail to see how it clutters the article any more than the disambiguation link already does. Anyway, why the objection to educating people? Raifʻhār Doremítzwr 00:00, 18 September 2006 (UTC)
You have not adequately answered my defences and criticisms; therefore, I am moving the article back. Raifʻhār Doremítzwr 00:17, 18 September 2006 (UTC)
WP:ASR. —Ruud 00:23, 18 September 2006 (UTC)

Discussion area for the request for the movement of Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe to Organization for Security and Coöperation in Europe[edit]

The following discussion is an archived debate of the proposal. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made in a new section on the talk page. No further edits should be made to this section.

The result of the debate was no move. -- tariqabjotu 13:31, 24 September 2006 (UTC)

Requested move[edit]

Organization for Security and Co-operation in EuropeOrganization for Security and Coöperation in Europe – All the reasons are given on the article’s talk page and at WP:WODS; for some reason, I am unable to move the article (although I have done so twice) —Raifʻhār Doremítzwr 00:59, 18 September 2006 (UTC)


Add "* Support" or "* Oppose" followed by an optional one-sentence explanation, then sign your opinion with ~~~~

  • Support — Reasons given above and at WP:WODS. Raifʻhār Doremítzwr 01:01, 18 September 2006 (UTC)
  • Oppose. No-one except the New Yorker uses diaeretic spellings. Strad 01:07, 18 September 2006 (UTC)
  • Oppose. OSCE uses the hyphenated spelling. Both US and UK dictionaries only list "cooperate" and "co-operate". —Ruud 01:16, 18 September 2006 (UTC)
  • Oppose per Ruud. It's what OSCE uses. TJ Spyke 02:32, 18 September 2006 (UTC)
  • Oppose per Ruud. --Amir E. Aharoni 05:05, 18 September 2006 (UTC)
  • Oppose per Ruud. Gary 15:36, 18 September 2006 (UTC)
  • Oppose obsolete practice that has long fallen by the wayside in standard English writing of this word, even if it weren't a proper name issue. Gene Nygaard 18:03, 18 September 2006 (UTC)
  • Oppose. Peter O. (Talk) 05:07, 21 September 2006 (UTC)


It strikes me that the proposed spelling is not a fitting subject for debate; it's just plain old wrong. If OSCE spelled it Organiszashunne for Sekyooritee and Cooperashun in Yoo-Rope then that would be the appropriate article title, not any of our spellings, no matter how superior they were, no matter how well explained they were. This may qualify for Wikipedia:Lamest edit wars. Gary 15:36, 18 September 2006 (UTC)

The above discussion is preserved as an archive of the debate. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made in a new section on this talk page. No further edits should be made to this section.

CSCE vs. OSCE: Problem with Redirect[edit]

The acronym 'CSCE' currently redirects here, but this shouldn't be the case (I'm not entirely sure how to fix it). While the CSCE, or Commission on Security and Cooperation in Europe, is closely related to the OSCE it is actually a US Government agency that helps 'monitor and encourage compliance with the agreements of the OSCE' and is not, in fact, the same thing as the OSCE. If someone could fix this, it would be appreciated. --The Way 06:38, 13 November 2006 (UTC)

OK, I've had a go at this. Commission on Security and Cooperation in Europe is now a new stub page, please help expand it. CSCE was already an acronym page, which I've added Commission on Security and Cooperation in Europe to. That page also mentions something called "Conference for Security and Co-operation in Europe". Should the OSCE page mention Conference for Security and Co-operation in Europe somewhere on it? Francis Irving 07:31, 15 December 2006 (UTC)

Work in Progress[edit]

Please note the Activities section is not complete. It is quite a large undertaking. I will have the rest of it very shortly. Please bear with me as I continue to add segments. Buffadren 09:59, 2 March 2007 (UTC)

Section 2 inserted outlining the ecomonic / environmental activities, I will finish this in a few days,Buffadren 15:10, 5 March 2007 (UTC)

All activities sections finished.Buffadren 18:57, 5 March 2007 (UTC)

Criticism of OSCE[edit]

Much like the United Nations an organisation like the OSCE cannot exist without some critiicism. I have inserted a section of some more noted criticisms in recent times and ongoing. It is not my intention to criticise the excellent work of the OSCE.We cannot ignore the negatives either. Buffadren 20:03, 5 March 2007 (UTC)

It is important to address all aspects, just as it is important to understand that much of the criticism coming from certain countries is motivated by a clear agenda - namely, to reduce the OSCE institutions' independence and gain more direct control over them, so as to limit those institutions' criticism of said countries' human rights situations. I have rewritten the criticism section to make it more clear that these criticisms (by no means all the flaws of the OSCE) are only the ones raised by the Russian-led CIS states, and are not in some way generally accepted shortcomings, but rather strongly resisted by all liberal democracies in the organization. Dmhaglund (talk) 09:53, 10 December 2007 (UTC)

Field Missions[edit]

This article needs a section on Field Missions, and the controversy they have generated. I might get around to it but if anyone else can write it please do so. For that matter it could also use a separate section on the independent institutions (ODIHR, National Minorities, Freedom of Media, etc).Dmhaglund (talk) 09:56, 10 December 2007 (UTC)


There is no need to say Putin's Russia. Just Russia will suffice. Otherwise you need to say Bush's US. Insertions like (read, the US) are unnecessary. This is just the writer's point of view.

I removed "(read, the US)" from the section; that's too much editorial. "Putin's Russia" is on the edge, I think, but it could be interpreted to mean his administration. I doubt that was the intent but someone else can take the initiative on that one.
I'm of the opinion that if it's in parentheses, it's a little too colorful for an encyclopedia article. If it's not significant enough to get its own sentence, chances are it doesn't belong in the article. Rather than having (the "Orange Revolution") in parentheses after referring to events in Ukraine in 2004, I'd think it to be better just to have "the events in Ukraine in 2004" link to the relevant Wikipedia page. Those who know about what happened in Ukraine in 2004 don't need the note, and those who don't know about it could click on it and find out.
It seems, though, that usually it's commentary like "(read, the US)" which has no place at all here. Commentary, regardless of how valid it may or may not be, doesn't belong in an encyclopedia article. Get a blog; call your local radio station; write a letter to the editor; whatever else. (What Wikipedia is not)
That's my two cents, at least. --Jdkkp (talk) 01:10, 9 January 2008 (UTC)


"These talks were held at the suggestion of the Soviet Union which wished to use the talks to maintain its control over the communist countries in Eastern Europe. Western Europe, however, saw these talks as a way to reduce the tension in the region, furthering economic cooperation and obtaining humanitarian improvements for the populations of the Communist bloc."

Propaganda at its best. Actually the it was the suggestion of the USSR to hold the talks to "reduce the tension in the region", and Western Europe agreed. That is all. Clearly USSR could not have invited western countries to the talks saying that it "wishes to use the talks to maintain its control over the communist countries in Eastern Europe".

First of all, the above entries in this history section of the discussion page are not signed, but they are not mine. My point is that I think that in most WP articles the history section comes quite high up in the running order of sections and often it is the first section. I think that the history section comes way down too low in the running order of sections. Does anyone see any reason why I should not promote it up to that spot?--Tom (talk) 12:49, 9 December 2008 (UTC)

New first sentence[edit]

Hi. I replaced the first sentence because the OSCE (an organization that I've done some work for) is not primarily concerned with "political dialogue" - whatever that is. It's a security organization first and foremost, as the OSCE declares on its home page. I don't know how to insert a link for "intergovernmental organizations," so if you can do it, please insert the link. Thanks! —Preceding unsigned comment added by Isoruku (talkcontribs) 01:29, 26 August 2008 (UTC)

Although concerned a great deal with security, Human Rights was a HUGE deal when the CSCE began its first talks (i.e., the CCCP didn't want a human dimension but agreed to it as an afterthought). Signing an agreement requiring 'democratization' and more freedoms had an affect on the latter years of the Soviet Union. Also, the wording kind of down-plays the OSCE one of the premiere election monitoring organizations in the world...Neil618 (talk) 05:14, 9 March 2010 (UTC)

Fiscal history[edit]

I noticed budget figures are given in euros for early 1990s before euro came into existence. Were the figures in ECUs or where they converted from another currency like US dollars (if so at what rates?) or at the fixed rate of a former eurzone currency like the Deutschmark? Kingal86 (talk) 22:34, 30 August 2008 (UTC)

FR Yugoslavia aka Serbia[edit]

Changed the info on Serbia which acceeded to the OSCE in 2000 as FR Yugoslavia. This country signed both the Paris Charter and the Helsinki Final Act a couple of weeks later. Source:

The Federal Republic of Yugoslavia became a member of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe on November 10, 2000. At the Meeting of the OSCE Ministerial Council in Vienna (November 27, 2000), the president of the FRY, Vojislav Koštunica, signed the basic documents of OSCE (the Helsinki Final Act, the Paris Charter and the Istanbul Document) whereby the FRY accepted all norms, standards and commitments deriving from these documents.

--RedZebra (talk) 07:37, 7 April 2009 (UTC)

List of Chairmen-in-Office[edit]

(Source: OSCE Magazine, issue number 4/2009, December 2009, pages 20–23.) – Kaihsu (talk) 14:53, 23 December 2009 (UTC)

Thanks to Airsplit for sorting things out. – Kaihsu (talk) 11:22, 31 December 2009 (UTC)
And to Kaihsu for putting in those dates, making a simpler layout more sensible :-) --Airsplit (talk) 18:04, 31 December 2009 (UTC)

Wrong reference[edit]

Ref 13 is to the 2004 US election, not the 2008 one - and the OSCE URL is out of date (though it still redirects). — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 10:47, 21 July 2011 (UTC)


Did Macedonia sign the Paris Charter and Helsinki final act as part of Yugoslavia? If so why not consider it as signed for that country? If not can Macedonia still sign it? Explain on this.

Confusing UN reference removed[edit]

God knows why, but there was something in the second paragraph about the OSCE being an ad hoc organization under the definition of the UN Charter chapter VIII blah, blah. This is very confusing to readers since it can imply some sort of connection between the OSCE and the UN, which of course does not exist. It further could be taken to mean that some sort of approval from the UN was needed before the OSCE could be established. The CSCE and OSCE did not go running to the UN before creating itself.

Bringing in the UN in this way thus taints the OSCE and its work in the eyes of people who are already paranoid about the UN. This is happening today in the US (Oct 27, 2012) with a number of news agencies and lazy reporters writing that the OSCE is a "UN affiliated" or "UN sanctioned" body. (The context is the statement by the Texas Attorney General that he may arrest OSCE observers in the US for "interfering" with the US presidential election.) Thus the incorrect and misleading UN connection just pours gasoline on the fire.

My guess is that the first American reporter to report this non-existent link between the two organizations first read Wikipedia. So I've deleted the erroneous UN reference.

It was added in July, apparently - maybe by someone who wanted to display his command of irrelevant information (UN Charter section VIII)...

(And for those of you are wondering, chapter VIII merely states that the UN's existence does not preclude the establishment of regional security bodies. Thus, it's like saying that NATO or the Shanghai Cooperation Organization are somehow connected with or sanctioned by the UN. And I'm hoping that nobody wrote in the NATO Wikipedia article that it too is an ad hoc organization established under the auspices of UN Charter chapter VIII blah blah...") — Preceding unsigned comment added by Isoruku (talkcontribs) 15:10, 25 October 2012 (UTC)

Georgia and Ukraine[edit]

Why is there no reference to the Georgian-Ossetian-Russian War in 2008? The OSCE had been on the ground monitoring until the war's outbreak and subsequent removal from South Ossetia and Abkhazia by Russia.

Also, having military observers captured and held prisoner by pro-Russians in east Ukraine would be important to mention as it highlights the activities the Organization is attempting to monitor and the difficulties they face.

If minor things like the Texas government getting angry but not acting are important enough to add to the OSCE page, shouldn't these two rather major events where the OSCE has been affected be important enough? Neil618 (talk) 15:09, 5 May 2014 (UTC)

Good points. Would you like to add something? bobrayner (talk) 22:36, 8 May 2014 (UTC)

That entry only shows how stupid some texans can be, it have no other reason to be there. (talk) 20:59, 11 June 2014 (UTC)

Allegations of pro-Russian bias ENGLISH SOURCES[edit]

There needs to be more English sources in the section "Allegations of pro-Russian bias (2014)", out of all of them the only one that is English requires paid registration. I'm going to attempt to pose as a journalist to gain access, but this is profoundly ridiculous, being that this is the ENGLISH-LANGUAGE WIKIPEDIA site, there NEEDS TO BE MORE ENGLISH SOURCES for this section. Immediately. --AbBaZoRkZoG — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 17:10, 5 December 2014 (UTC)

2015 updates, and a hello from the Organization[edit]

Hi, I’m Jonny, an editor from the Communication and Media Relations Section of the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe. We’d like to stimulate Wikipedia editors to help improve the quality of information of our main page here, as well as some related pages.

If anyone has any advice or guidance on attracting editors to pages about us, we’d really welcome it, so feel free to write to me here.

I should say at the outset that we have no problem with criticism of the Organization, and do not seek to generate a more positive image of the Organization in this way – but merely correct factual inaccuracies, and improve the quality of information available about the Organization generally. I will be posting specific issues we think need to be addressed on the talk pages of content about us. In line with WP:CONFLICT I will not be editing any pages directly.

To this end, I’d like to suggest the following edits:

In the first paragraph, it is stated that: "It has 550 staff at its headquarters in Vienna, Austria, and 2,300 field staff." We have updated our staffing numbers: "It has some 400 staff at its headquarters in Vienna, Austria, and 2,100 field staff, along with 200 staff in its institutions." Citation: A citation is requested for the 'blue book'. Here it is: Where is says "the OSCE Final Act" - this should be "the Helsinki Final Act" Update of paragraph and clarification on role of Ambassadors (Not all OSCE ambassadors are the ambassador to Austria as well): The chairperson of the Permanent Council is the ambassador to the Organization of the participating State which holds the chairmanship. From 1 January 2015 to 31 December 2015 the Chairman-in-Office is Minister for Foreign Affairs of Serbia, Ivica Dačić, who succeeded Swiss Foreign Minister Didier Burkhalter. ODIHR is headed by Michael Georg Link. (This is correct in the info panel.) We're missing a whole institution here, the High Commissioner on National Minorities (HCNM). I suggest the following text which is simply taken from the wiki page on HCNM: "Created on July 8, 1992 by the Helsinki Summit Meeting of the Conference on Security and Cooperation in Europe, the High Commissioner on National Minorities is charged with identifying and seeking early resolution of ethnic tension that might endanger peace, stability or friendly relations between participating states." The language is a little unclear here, and a description of the role of the SG is missing. I propose: "The incumbent of this post acts as the representative of the Chairperson-in-Office, and as the OSCE's chief administrative officer. Secretaries General of the OSCE since the post was created in 1992:" Citation: Troika para needs updating: "The 2015 Troika consists of the current CiO, Serbian Foreign Minister Ivica Dačić; the former CiO, Head of the Swiss Department of Foreign Affairs Didier Burkhalter; and incoming CiO, German Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier." 2015 figure can be added: 141,1 million euros. Citation is here:

-That's it for now. I hope this is useful for Wikipedia Editors! Jonny - OSCE Editor (talk) 12:28, 12 March 2015 (UTC)

That looks like a big improvement. Go ahead! (I'm sorry for not replying earlier) bobrayner (talk) 13:15, 25 April 2015 (UTC)
Thanks Bob - sadly I'm unable to edit myself due to WP:CONFLICT. I'd appreciate it if you or any other editors would be able to go through them and make appropriate edits. Jonny - OSCE Editor (talk) 08:29, 5 May 2015 (UTC)
I've updated the staffing figures, Jonny - OSCE Editor. Thanks for the info. Cordless Larry (talk) 18:54, 5 May 2015 (UTC)

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