Chair

The OSCE Chairman-in-Office, Kazakhstan’s Secretary of State and Foreign Minister Kanat Saudabayev, speaks to journalists at a news conference in Vienna, 14 January 2010. (OSCE/Susanna Lööf)

The OSCE Chairman-in-Office, Kazakhstan’s Secretary of State and Foreign Minister Kanat Saudabayev, speaks to journalists at a news conference in Vienna, 14 January 2010. (OSCE/Susanna Lööf)

The Chair-in-Office (CiO) is vested with overall responsibility for executive action and the coordination of OSCE activities. CiO duties include:

  • Representing the Organization before other organizations and to participating states
  • Coordinating the work of OSCE institutions
  • Supervising activities related to conflict prevention, crisis management, and post-conflict rehabilitation
  • Seeking consensus as the basis for regular decision-making
  • Mediation and conciliation of conflicts among participating states, either directly or through special representatives appointed by the chair.
Rotation

The Chair rotates annually. The foreign minister of the country chairing the organization traditionally holds the position of CiO. The country that is elected must provide substantial personnel to carry out the many functions of the Chair during the term as a member of the Troika/Quintet.

Troika/Quintet

Traditionally, the CiO has been assisted by the previous and succeeding Chairs; the three of them together constituting the Troika. Finnish OSCE Chair-in-Office Alexander Stubb took an initiative in 2008 to expand the Troika to a “Quintet” by including states slated to assume leadership in future years. He invited Kazakhstan (2010) and Lithuania (2011) to meet with the then Troika of Spain, Finland and Greece to develop ideas for longer-term priorities. It is unclear whether this will be a permanent change in the governance structure or is just a temporary experiment with a new approach.