Heads of State and Government at the OSCE Summit in Astana, 1 December 2010. (OSCE/Vladimir Trofimchuk)
Summits are periodic meetings of the heads of state and/or government of OSCE participating states. They set priorities and provide orientation at the highest political level. Sometimes states send other officials. For example, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton represented the U.S. at Summits during her tenure.
Summit meetings are managed by the Chair-in-Office and customarily held in its country. These meetings involve extensive preparation by the professional diplomats who staff the Permanent Council, supplemented just prior to the event by additional staff from capitals.
Chairs-in-Office seek to use Summit meetings to demonstrate success for their Chairmanship goals. These events also operate by consensus, and decisions and resolutions ultimately adopted reflect negotiations behind the scenes that may have been going on for months or even years prior to the meeting.
Review conferences precede and prepare for summits.
At review meetings:
- The entire range of activities within the OSCE is examined
- Steps that might be required to strengthen the OSCE are discussed
Review conferences also:
Participants in the plenary room during the first session of the OSCE Review Conference in Astana, 26 November 2010. (OSCE/Vladimir Trofimchuk)
- Monitor the implementation of previously-adopted commitments
- Seek to finalize the negotiation of the documents, decisions, and statements that are then adopted at the summits