Overview

OSCE participating states

OSCE participating states

The OSCE has 56 participating states from Europe, Central Asia, and North America, and its area spans from Vancouver to Vladivostok.

The OSCE also maintains regular dialogue and cooperation with Mediterranean and Asian partners.

Operations

The OSCE possesses most of the normal attributes of an international organization: standing decision-making bodies, permanent headquarters and institutions, permanent staff, regular financial resources, and field operations.

At the start of 2010, the OSCE employed about 450 persons in its primary institutions, as well as some 3,000 persons in its field missions, including both direct hires and seconded personnel. Its 2010 budget was relatively modest, at 150 million Euros (about $230 million).

Comprehensive view of security

The following three areas are considered by the OSCE to be equally important for maintaining peace and stability:

  • Security
  • Economic and environmental cooperation
  • Human rights

The consensus of OSCE participating states is that all have a common stake in the security of Europe and should therefore cooperate to prevent crises from happening and/or to prevent their escalation, and to promote post-conflict peace building.

Political dialogue

To maintain security throughout its region, the OSCE relies on political dialogue about shared values and develops partnerships with governments, civil society, and the private sector. The OSCE often works away from the headlines to foster discussion to defuse tensions and divert potential conflict.