Welcome to this online training course for candidates from the United States for positions with the Organization of Security and Cooperation in Europe, the OSCE.

The Institute is an independent, nonpartisan federal institution created by Congress in 1984 to promote research, education and training on the peaceful management and resolution of international conflicts. Our training programs for practitioners reach over 1,500 professionals every year. The OSCE area has been high on our work agenda.

The Department of State chose the Institute of Peace to develop online training to ensure that candidates selected for OSCE positions are well informed about the organization and knowledgeable regarding skills used in field missions. Those of you selected for deployment will be provided with a second stage of training on the area of your assignment in addition to this online training course.

The OSCE plays an increasingly important role in helping manage the international conflicts and challenges that have developed since the end of the Cold War. Uniquely, the OSCE puts as much emphasis on issues of democratization and human rights as on the political and security aspects of conflict management. The OSCE's missions in Kosovo, Macedonia and elsewhere have proven that the organization is a key element in contemporary Europe's security system.

The OSCE's decision to launch its program for Rapid Expert Assistance and Cooperation Teams, or REACT, was motivated by the need to rapidly mobilize and deploy civilian experts for unexpected contingencies. In the past, delays in the deployment of civilian experts have created difficulties in peace operations. The REACT initiative can go a long way toward remedying this problem.

The United States Institute of Peace is proud to provide the essential information and skills training needed by U.S. candidates for OSCE missions. Our programs are on the cutting edge of online training for officials involved in peacekeeping operations worldwide. Our goal is to deliver training appropriate to the needs of a wide range of personnel likely to be deployed by the OSCE in its field missions. I hope you'll find this course stimulating, informative, and good preparation for your assignments. Good luck with the course.