The Secretariat, under the direction of the Secretary General, provides operational support to the Organization.
The Secretariat is based in Vienna and also has an office in Prague.
OSCE Secretary General Ambassador Lamberto Zannier addresses the Permanent Council, Vienna, 4 July 2011 (OSCE/Sarah Crozier)
The Secretary General acts as the representative of the Chair-in-Office and supports him/her in all activities aimed at attaining the goals of the OSCE. The Secretary General, in consultation with the Chair-in-Office, is authorized to bring any matter that he/she deems relevant to the attention of the Permanent Council.
The term of the current OSCE Secretary General, Lamberto Zannier of Italy, was extended a further three years in May 2014.
The duties of the Secretariat include:
- Managing OSCE structures and operations within the political guidelines set down by the Permanent Council and other political decision-making bodies
- Working closely with the CiO in the preparation and guidance of OSCE meetings
- Ensuring implementation of the decisions of the OSCE
- Publicizing OSCE policies and practices
- Maintaining contacts with other international organizations
- Advising on budgetary proposals and financial implications of proposals
- Overseeing personnel issues, including gender equity within the OSCE
Conflict Prevention Center
The Secretariat's Conflict Prevention Center (CPC), based in Vienna, supports the CiO and other OSCE bodies on:
- Early warning
- Conflict prevention
- Crisis management
- Post-conflict rehabilitation
- Maintains close contacts with other international organizations and NGOs involved in conflict management
- Serves as the planning unit for future OSCE missions and field operations
- Acts as coordinator for deployment of new or enhanced field operations
- Assists mission members in emergencies, such as a medical evacuation
The CPC's Situation Room can operate 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
The Secretariat also includes the:
- Department for Transnational Threats, which was established in 2012 to serve as the OSCE focal point to address terrorism, organized crime, cyber threats and illegal trafficking in drugs. It includes the:Action against Terrorism Unit; the Strategic Police Unit, and the Borders Team.
- External Co-operation Section
- Gender Section
- Office of Internal Oversight
- Office of the Co-ordinator of OSCE Economic and Environmental Activities
- Office of the Special Representative and Co-ordinator for Combating Trafficking in Human Beings
- Training Section