Ministerial Council

The Ministerial Council, made up of foreign ministers of the participating states (or their representatives), meets annually, except in years when summits are scheduled. The Ministerial meetings are held to take major decisions, and often approve documents that have been adopted by the Permanent Council or the Forum for Security Co-Operation.

The Ministerial Council meetings help to maintain a link between the political decisions taken at the summits and the day-to-day functioning of the OSCE. Since a summit has not been held since 1999, the Ministerial Council meetings have become the highest political decision-making body in practice.

Activities

The Council meets in order to:

  • Consider issues relevant to the OSCE
  • Review and assess the activities, accomplishments, and problems of the OSCE
  • Make appropriate decisions, including adoption of the annual operating budget
Decisions
The closing session under way at the 17th OSCE Ministerial Council, Athens, 2 December 2009. (OSCE/George Kontarinis)

The closing session under way at the 17th OSCE Ministerial Council, Athens, 2 December 2009. (OSCE/George Kontarinis)

The Council makes all of its decisions by consensus, although during the last few years the Chair-in-Office has made summary statements reflecting views shared by the vast majority of participating states, but not universally agreed.