Organization for Co-operation and Security in Europe Charter for European Security

1. At the dawn of the twenty-first century we, the Heads of State or Government of the OSCE participating States, declare our firm commitment to a free, democratic and more integrated OSCE area where participating States are at peace with each other, and individuals and communities live in freedom, prosperity and security. To implement this commitment, we have decided to take a number of new steps. We have agreed to:

- Adopt the Platform for Co-operative Security, in order to strengthen co-operation between the OSCE and other international organizations and institutions, thereby making better use of the resources of the international community;

- Develop the OSCE'srole in peacekeeping, thereby better reflecting the Organization's comprehensive approach to security;

- Create Rapid Expert Assistance and Co-operation Teams (REACT), thereby enabling the OSCE to respond quickly to demands for assistance and for large civilian field operations;

- Expand our ability to carry out police-related activities in order to assist in maintaining the primacy of law;

- Establish an Operation Centre, in order to plan and deploy OSCE field operations;

- Strengthen the consultation process within the OSCE by establishing the Preparatory Committee under the OSCE Permanent Council.

We are committed to preventing the outbreak of violent conflicts wherever possible. The steps we have agreed to take in this Charter will strengthen the OSCE's ability in this respect as well as its capacity to settle conflicts and to rehabilitate societies ravaged by war and destruction. The Charter will contribute to the formation of a common and indivisible security space. It will advance the creation of an OSCE area free of dividing lines and zones with different levels of security.


2. The last decade of the twentieth century has brought great achievements in the OSCE area, co-operation has replaced previous confrontation, but the danger of conflicts between States has not been eliminated. We have put Europe's old divisions behind us, but new risks and challenges have emerged. Since we signed the Charter of Paris it has become more obvious that threats to our security can stem from conflicts within States as well as from conflicts between States. We have experienced conflicts which have often resulted from flagrant violations of OSCE norms and principles. We have witnessed atrocities of a kind we had thought were relegated to the past. In this decade it has become clear that all such conflicts can represent a threat to the security of all OSCE participating States.

3. We are determined to learn from the dangers of confrontation and division between States as well as from tragedies of the last decade. Security and peace must be enhanced through an approach which combines two basic elements, we must build confidence among people within States and strengthen co-operation between States. Therefore, we will strengthen existing instruments and develop new ones to provide assistance and advice. We will reinforce our efforts to ensure full respect for human rights and fundamental freedoms, including the rights of persons belonging to national minorities. In parallel, we will strengthen our capacity to enhance confidence and security between States. We are determined to develop the means at our disposal to settle peacefully disputes between them.

4. International terrorism, violent extremism, organized crime and drug trafficking represent growing challenges to security. Whatever its motives, terrorism in all its forms and manifestations is unacceptable. We will enhance our efforts to prevent the preparation and financing of any act of terrorism on our territories and deny terrorists safe havens. The excessive and destabilizing accumulation and uncontrolled spread of small arms and light weapons represent a threat to peace and security. We are committed to strengthening our protection against these new risks and challenges; strong democratic institutions and the rule of law are the foundation for this protection. We are also determined to co-operate more actively and closely with each other to meet these challenges.

5. Acute economic problems and environmental degradation may have serious implications for our security. Co-operation in the fields of economy, science and technology and the environment will be of critical importance. We will strengthen our responses to such threats through continued economic and environmental reforms, by stable and transparent frameworks for economic activity and by promoting market economies, while paying due attention to economic and social rights. We applaud the unprecedented process of economic transformation taking place in many participating States. We encourage them to continue this reform process, which will contribute to security and prosperity in the entire OSCE area. We will step up our efforts across all dimensions of the OSCE to combat corruption and to promote the rule of law.

6. We confirm that security in areas nearby, in particular in the Mediterranean area as well as areas in direct proximity to participating States, such as those of Central Asia, is of increasing importance to the OSCE. We recognize that instability in these areas creates challenges that directly affect the security and prosperity of OSCE States.


7. We reaffirm our full adherence to the Charter of the United Nations, and to the Helsinki Final Act, the Charter of Paris and all other OSCE documents to which we have agreed. These documents represent our common commitments and are the foundation for our work. They have helped us to bring about an end to the old confrontation in Europe and to foster a new era of democracy, peace and solidarity throughout the OSCE area. They established clear standards for participating States' treatment of each other and of all individuals within their territories. All OSCE commitments, without exception, apply equally to each participating State. Their implementation in good faith is essential for relations between States, between governments and their peoples, as well as between the organizations of which they are members. Participating States are accountable to their citizens and responsible to each other for their implementation of their OSCE commitments. We regard these commitments as our common achievement and therefore consider them to be matters of immediate and legitimate concern to all participating States.

We reaffirm the OSCE as a regional arrangement under Chapter VIII of the Charter of the United Nations and as a primary organization for the peaceful settlement of disputes within its region and as a key instrument for early warning, conflict prevention, crisis management and post-conflict rehabilitation. The OSCE is the inclusive and comprehensive organization for consultation, decision-making and co-operation in its region.

8. Each participating State has an equal right to security. We reaffirm the inherent right of each and every participating State to be free to choose or change its security arrangements, including treaties of alliance, as they evolve. Each State also has the right to neutrality. Each participating State will respect the rights of all others in these regards. They will not strengthen their security at the expense of the security of other States. Within the OSCE no State, group of States or organization can have any pre-eminent responsibility for maintaining peace and stability in the OSCE area or can consider any part of the OSCE area as its sphere of influence.

9. We will build our relations in conformity with the concept of common and comprehensive security, guided by equal partnership, solidarity and transparency. The security of each participating State is inseparably linked to that of all others. We will address the human, economic, political and military dimensions of security as an integral whole.

10. We will continue to uphold consensus as the basis for OSCE decision-making. The OSCE's flexibility and ability to respond quickly to a changing political environment should remain at the heart of the OSCE's co-operative and inclusive approach to common and indivisible security.

11. We recognize the primary responsibility of the United Nations Security Council for the maintenance of international peace and security and its crucial role in contributing to security and stability in our region. We reaffirm our rights and obligations under the Charter of the United Nations, including our commitment on the issue of the non-use of force or the threat of force. In this connection, we also reaffirm our commitment to seek the peaceful resolution of disputes as set out in the Charter of the United Nations.

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Based on these foundations we will strengthen our common response and improve our common instruments in order to meet the challenges confronting us more efficiently.



12. The risks and challenges we face today cannot be met by a single State or organization. Over the last decade, we have taken important steps to forge new co-operation between the OSCE and other international organizations. In order to make full use of the resources of the international community, we are committed to even closer co-operation among international organizations.

We pledge ourselves, through the Platform for Co-operative Security, which is hereby adopted as an essential element of this Charter, to further strengthen and develop co-operation with competent organizations on the basis of equality and in a spirit of partnership. The principles of the Platform for Co-operative Security, as set out in the operational document attached to this Charter, apply to any organization or institution whose members individually and collectively decide to adhere to them. They apply across all dimensions of security; politico-military, human and economic. Through this Platform we seek to develop and maintain political and operational coherence, on the basis of shared values, among all the various bodies dealing with security, both in responding to specific crises and in formulating responses to new risks and challenges. Recognizing the key integrating role that the OSCE can play, we offer the OSCE, when appropriate, as a flexible co-ordinatingframework to foster co-operation, through which various organizations can reinforce each other drawing on their particular strengths. We do not intend to create a hierarchy of organizations or a permanent division of labour among them.

We are ready in principle to deploy the resources of international organizations and institutions of which we are members in support of the OSCE's work, subject to the necessary policy decisions as cases arise.

13. Subregional co-operation has become an important element in enhancing security across the OSCE area. Processes such as the Stability Pact for South-Eastern Europe, which has been placed under the auspices of the OSCE, help to promote our common values. They contribute to improved security not just in the subregion in question but throughout the OSCE area. We offer the OSCE, in accordance with the Platform for Co-operative Security, as a forum for subregionalco-operation. In this respect, and in accordance with the modalities in the operational document, the OSCE will facilitate the exchange of information and experience between subregional groups and may, if so requested, receive and keep their mutual accords and agreements.


14. Peace and security in our region is best guaranteed by the willingness and ability of each participating State to uphold democracy, the rule of law and respect for human rights. We individually confirm our willingness to comply fully with our commitments. We also have a joint responsibility to uphold OSCE principles. We are therefore determined to co-operate within the OSCE and with its institutions and representatives and stand ready to use OSCE instruments, tools and mechanisms. We will co-operate in a spirit of solidarity and partnership in a continuing review of implementation. Today we commit ourselves to joint measures based on co-operation, both in the OSCE and through those organizations of which we are members, in order to offer assistance to participating States to enhance their compliance with OSCE principles and commitments. We will strengthen existing co-operative instruments and develop new ones in order to respond efficiently to requests for assistance from participating States. We will explore ways to further increase the effectiveness of the Organization to deal with cases of clear, gross and continuing violations of those principles and commitments.

15. We are determined to consider ways of helping participating States requesting assistance in cases of internal breakdown of law and order. We will jointly examine the nature of the situation and possible ways and means of providing support to the State in question.

16. We reaffirm the validity of the Code of Conduct on Politico-Military Aspects of Security. We will consult promptly, in conformity with our OSCE responsibilities, with a participating State seeking assistance in realizing its right to individual or collective self-defence in the event that its sovereignty, territorial integrity and political independence are threatened. We will consider jointly the nature of the threat and actions that may be required in defence of our common values.


17. The Parliamentary Assembly has developed into one of the most important OSCE institutions continuously providing new ideas and proposals. We welcome this increasing role, particularly in the field of democratic development and election monitoring. We call on the Parliamentary Assembly to develop its activities further as a key component in our efforts to promote democracy, prosperity and increased confidence within and between participating States.

18. The Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights (ODIHR), the High Commissioner on National Minorities (HCNM) and the Representative on Freedom of the Media are essential instruments in ensuring respect for human rights, democracy and the rule of law. The OSCE Secretariat provides vital assistance to the Chairman-in-Office and to the activities of our Organization, especially in the field. We will also strengthen further the operational capacities of the OSCE Secretariat to enable it to face the expansion of our activities and to ensure that field operations function effectively and in accordance with the mandates and guidance given to them.

We commit ourselves to giving the OSCE institutions our full support. We emphasize the importance of close co-ordination among the OSCE institutions, as well as our field operations, in order to make optimal use of our common resources. We will take into account the need for geographic diversity and gender balance when recruiting personnel to OSCE institutions and field operations.

We acknowledge the tremendous developments and diversification of OSCE activities. We recognize that a large number of OSCE participating States have not been able to implement the 1993 decision of the Rome Ministerial Council, and that difficulties can arise from the absence of a legal capacity of the Organization. We will seek to improve the situation.


19. We reaffirm that respect for human rights and fundamental freedoms, democracy and the rule of law is at the core of the OSCE'scomprehensive concept of security. We commit ourselves to counter such threats to security as violations of human rights and fundamental freedoms, including the freedom of thought, conscience, religion or belief and manifestations of intolerance, aggressive nationalism, racism, chauvinism, xenophobia and anti-semitism.

The protection and promotion of the rights of persons belonging to national minorities are essential factors for democracy, peace, justice and stability within, and between, participating States. In this respect we reaffirm our commitments, in particular under the relevant provisions of the Copenhagen 1990 Human Dimension Document, and recall the Report of the Geneva 1991 Meeting of Experts on National Minorities. Full respect for human rights, including the rights of persons belonging to national minorities, besides being an end in itself, may not undermine, but strengthen territorial integrity and sovereignty. Various concepts of autonomy as well as other approaches outlined in the above-mentioned documents, which are in line with OSCE principles, constitute ways to preserve and promote the ethnic, cultural, linguistic and religious identity of national minorities within an existing State. We condemn violence against any minority. We pledge to take measures to promote tolerance and to build pluralistic societies where all, regardless of their ethnic origin, enjoy full equality of opportunity. We emphasize that questions relating to national minorities can only be satisfactorily resolved in a democratic political framework based on the rule of law.

We reaffirm our recognition that everyone has the right to a nationality and that no one should be deprived of his or her nationality arbitrarily. We commit ourselves to continue our efforts to ensure that everyone can exercise this right. We also commit ourselves to further the international protection of stateless persons.

20. We recognize the particular difficulties faced by Roma and Sinti and the need to undertake effective measures in order to achieve full equality of opportunity, consistent with OSCE commitments, for persons belonging to Roma and Sinti. We will reinforce our efforts to ensure that Roma and Sintiare able to play a full and equal part in our societies, and to eradicate discrimination against them.

21. We are committed to eradicating torture and cruel, inhumane or degrading treatment or punishment throughout the OSCE area. To this end, we will promote legislation to provide procedural and substantive safeguards and remedies to combat these practices. We will assist victims and co-operate with relevant international organizations and non-governmental organizations, as appropriate.

22. We reject any policy of ethnic cleansing or mass expulsion. We reaffirm our commitment to respect the right to seek asylum and to ensure the international protection of refugees as set out in the 1951 Convention Relating to the Status of Refugees and its 1967 Protocol, as well as to facilitate the voluntary return of refugees and internally displaced persons in dignity and safety. We will pursue without discrimination the reintegration of refugees and internally displaced persons in their places of origin.

In order to enhance the protection of civilians in times of conflict, we will seek ways of reinforcing the application of international humanitarian law.

23. The full and equal exercise by women of their human rights is essential to achieve a more peaceful, prosperous and democratic OSCE area. We are committed to making equality between men and women an integral part of our policies, both at the level of our States and within the Organization.

24. We will undertake measures to eliminate all forms of discrimination against women, and to end violence against women and children as well as sexual exploitation and all forms of trafficking in human beings. In order to prevent such crimes we will, among other means, promote the adoption or strengthening of legislation to hold accountable persons responsible for these acts and strengthen the protection of victims. We will also develop and implement measures to promote the rights and interests of children in armed conflict and post-conflict situations, including refugees and internally displaced children. We will look at ways of preventing forced or compulsory recruitment for use in armed conflict of persons under 18 years of age.

25. We reaffirm our obligation to conduct free and fair elections in accordance with OSCE commitments, in particular the Copenhagen Document 1990. We recognize the assistance the ODIHR can provide to participating States in developing and implementing electoral legislation. In line with these commitments, we will invite observers to our elections from other participating States, the ODIHR, the OSCE Parliamentary Assembly and appropriate institutions and organizations that wish to observe our election proceedings. We agree to follow up promptly the ODIHR's election assessment and recommendations.

26. We reaffirm the importance of independent media and the free flow of information as well as the public's access to information. We commit ourselves to take all necessary steps to ensure the basic conditions for free and independent media and unimpeded transborder and intra-State flow of information, which we consider to be an essential component of any democratic, free and open society.

27. Non-governmental organizations (NGOs) can perform a vital role in the promotion of human rights, democracy and the rule of law. They are an integral component of a strong civil society. We pledge ourselves to enhance the ability of NGOs to make their full contribution to the further development of civil society and respect for human rights and fundamental freedoms.


28. The politico-military aspects of security remain vital to the interests of participating States. They constitute a core element of the OSCE's concept of comprehensive security. Disarmament, arms control and confidence- and security-building measures (CSBMs) are important parts of the overall effort to enhance security by fostering stability, transparency and predictability in the military field. Full implementation, timely adaptation and, when required, further development of arms control agreements and CSBMs are key contributions to our political and military stability.

29. The Treaty on Conventional Armed Forces in Europe (CFE) must continue to serve as a cornerstone of European security. It has dramatically reduced equipment levels. It provides a fundamental contribution to a more secure and integrated Europe. The States Parties to this Treaty are taking a critical step forward. The Treaty is being strengthened by adapting its provisions to ensure enhanced stability, predictability and transparency amidst changing circumstances. A number of States Parties will reduce further their equipment levels. The adapted Treaty, upon its entry into force, will be open to voluntary accession by other OSCE participating States in the area between the Atlantic Ocean and the Ural Mountains and thereby will provide an important additional contribution to European stability and security.

30. The OSCE Vienna Document 1999, together with other documents adopted by the Forum for Security Co-operation (FSC) on politico-military aspects of security, provide valuable tools for all OSCE participating States in building greater mutual confidence and military transparency. We will continue to make regular use of and fully implement all OSCE instruments in this field and seek their timely adaptation in order to ensure adequate response to security needs in the OSCE area. We remain committed to the principles contained in the Code of Conduct on politico-military aspects of security. We are determined to make further efforts within the FSC in order to jointly address common security concerns of participating States and to pursue the OSCE'sconcept of comprehensive and indivisible security so far as the politico-military dimension is concerned. We will continue a substantial security dialogue and task our representatives to conduct this dialogue in the framework of the FSC.


31. The link between security, democracy and prosperity has become increasingly evident in the OSCE area, as has the risk to security from environmental degradation and the depletion of natural resources. Economic liberty, social justice and environmental responsibility are indispensable for prosperity. On the basis of these linkages, we will ensure that the economic dimension receives appropriate attention, in particular as an element of our early warning and conflict prevention activities. We will do so, inter alia, with a view to promoting the integration of economies in transition into the world economy and to ensure the rule of law and the development of a transparent and stable legal system in the economic sphere.

32. The OSCE is characterized by its broad membership, its comprehensive approach to security, its large number of field operations and its long history as a norm-setting organization. These qualities enable it to identify threats and to act as a catalyst for co-operation between key international organizations and institutions in the economic and environmental areas. The OSCE stands ready to play this role, where appropriate. We will foster such co-ordination between the OSCE and relevant international organizations in accordance with the Platform for Co-operative Security. We will enhance the OSCE's ability to address economic and environmental issues in ways that neither duplicate existing work nor replace efforts that can be more efficiently undertaken by other organizations. We will focus on areas in which the OSCE has particular competence. The OSCE'sefforts within the human dimension have significant economic effects and vice versa, for example by mobilizing human resources and talents and by helping to build vibrant civil societies. In the spirit of the 1998 Århus Convention on Access to Information, Public Participation in Decision-Making and Access to Justice in Environmental Matters, we will in particular seek to ensure access to information, public participation in decision-making and access to justice in environmental matters.


33. We reaffirm our commitment to the rule of law. We recognize that corruption poses a great threat to the OSCE's shared values. It generates instability and reaches into many aspects of the security, economic and human dimensions. Participating States pledge to strengthen their efforts to combat corruption and the conditions that foster it, and to promote a positive framework for good government practices and public integrity. They will make better use of existing international instruments and assist each other in their fight against corruption. As part of its work to promote the rule of law, the OSCE will work with NGOs that are committed to a strong public and business consensus against corrupt practices.



34. We are determined to broaden and strengthen our dialogue concerning developments related to all aspects of security in the OSCE area. We charge the Permanent Council and the FSC within their respective areas of competence to address in greater depth security concerns of the participating States and to pursue the OSCE's concept of comprehensive and indivisible security.

35. The Permanent Council, being the regular body for political consultations and decision-making, will address the full range of conceptual issues as well as the day-to-day operational work of the Organization. To assist in its deliberations and decision-making and to strengthen the process of political consultations and transparency within the Organization, we will establish a Preparatory Committee under the Permanent Council's direction. This open-ended Committee will normally meet in informal format and will be tasked by the Council, or its Chairman, to deliberate and to report back to the Council.

36. Reflecting our spirit of solidarity and partnership, we will also enhance our political dialogue in order to offer assistance to participating States, thereby ensuring compliance with OSCE commitments. To encourage this dialogue, we have decided, in accordance with established rules and practices, to make increased use of OSCE instruments, including:

- Dispatching delegations from the OSCE institutions, with the participation of other relevant international organizations, when appropriate, to provide advice and expertise for reform of legislation and practices;

- Dispatching Personal Representatives of the Chairman-in-Office, after consultations with the State concerned, for fact-finding or advisory missions;

- Bringing together representatives of the OSCE and States concerned in order to address questions regarding compliance with OSCE commitments;

- Organizing training programmesaimed at improving standards and practices, inter alia, within the fields of human rights, democratization and the rule of law;

- Addressing matters regarding compliance with OSCE commitments at OSCE review meetings and conferences as well as in the Economic Forum;

- Submitting such matters for consideration by the Permanent Council, inter alia, on the basis of recommendations by the OSCE institutions within their respective mandates or by Personal Representatives of the Chairman-in-Office;

- Convening meetings of the Permanent Council in a special or reinforced format in order to discuss matters of non-compliance with OSCE commitments and to decide on appropriate courses of action;

- Establishing field operations with the consent of the State concerned.


37. The Permanent Council will establish field operations. It will decide on their mandates and budgets. On this basis, the Permanent Council and the Chairman-in-Office will provide guidance to such operations.

38. The development of OSCE field operations represents a major transformation of the Organization that has enabled the OSCE to play a more prominent role in promoting peace, security and compliance with OSCE commitments. Based on the experience we have acquired, we will develop and strengthen this instrument further in order to carry out tasks according to their respective mandates, which may, inter alia, include the following:

- Providing assistance and advice or formulating recommendations in areas agreed by the OSCE and the host country;

- Observing compliance with OSCE commitments and providing advice or recommendations for improved compliance;

- Assisting in the organization and monitoring of elections;

- Providing support for the primacy of law and democratic institutions and for the maintenance and restoration of law and order;

- Helping to create conditions for negotiation or other measures that could facilitate the peaceful settlement of conflicts;

- Verifying and/or assisting in fulfilling agreements on the peaceful settlement of conflicts;

- Providing support in the rehabilitation and reconstruction of various aspects of society.

39. Recruitment to field operations must ensure that qualified personnel are made available by participating States. The training of personnel is an important aspect of enhancing the effectiveness of the OSCE and its field operations and will therefore be improved. Existing training facilities in OSCE participating States and training activities of the OSCE could play an active role in achieving this aim in co-operation, where appropriate, with other organizations and institutions.

40. In accordance with the Platform for Co-operative Security, co-operation between OSCE and other international organizations in performing field operations will be enhanced. This will be done, inter alia, by carrying out common projects with other partners, in particular the Council of Europe, allowing the OSCE to benefit from their expertise while respecting the identity and decision-making procedures of each organization involved.

41. The host country of an OSCE field operation should, when appropriate, be assisted in building its own capacity and expertise within the area of responsibility. This would facilitate an efficient transfer of the tasks of the operation to the host country, and consequently the closure of the field operation.


42. We recognize that the ability to deploy rapidly civilian and police expertise is essential to effective conflict prevention, crisis management and post-conflict rehabilitation. We are committed to developing a capability within the participating States and the OSCE to set up Rapid Expert Assistance and Co-operation Teams (REACT) that will be at the disposal of the OSCE. This will enable OSCE bodies and institutions, acting in accordance with their respective procedures, to offer experts quickly to OSCE participating States to provide assistance, in compliance with OSCE norms, in conflict prevention, crisis management and post-conflict rehabilitation. This rapidly deployable capability will cover a wide range of civilian expertise. It will give us the ability to address problems before they become crises and to deploy quickly the civilian component of a peacekeeping operation when needed. These Teams could also be used as surge capacity to assist the OSCE with the rapid deployment of large-scale or specialized operations. We expect REACT to develop and evolve, along with other OSCE capabilities, to meet the needs of the Organization.


43. Rapid deployment is important for the OSCE'seffectiveness in contributing to our conflict prevention, crisis management and post-conflict rehabilitation efforts and depends on effective preparation and planning. To facilitate this, we decide to set up an Operation Centre within the Conflict Prevention Centre with a small core staff, having expertise relevant for all kinds of OSCE operations, which can be expanded rapidly when required. Its role will be to plan and deploy field operations, including those involving REACT resources. It will liaise with other international organizations and institutions as appropriate in accordance with the Platform for Co-operative Security. The Centre's core staff will, to the extent possible, be drawn from personnel with appropriate expertise seconded by participating States and from existing Secretariat resources. This core will provide the basis for rapid expansion, to deal with new tasks as they arise. The precise arrangements will be decided in accordance with existing procedures.


44. We will work to enhance the OSCE's role in civilian police-related activities as an integral part of the Organization's efforts in conflict prevention, crisis management and post-conflict rehabilitation. Such activities may comprise:

- Police monitoring, including with the aim of preventing police from carrying out such activities as discrimination based on religious and ethnic identity;

- Police training, which could, inter alia, include the following tasks:

- Improving the operational and tactical capabilities of local police services and reforming paramilitary forces;

- Providing new and modern policing skills, such as community policing, and anti-drug, anti-corruption and anti-terrorist capacities;

- Creating a police service with a multi-ethnic and/or multi-religious composition that can enjoy the confidence of the entire population;

- Promoting respect for human rights and fundamental freedoms in general.

We will encourage the provision of modern equipment appropriate to police services that receive training in such new skills.

In addition, the OSCE will examine options and conditions for a role in law enforcement.

45. We shall also promote the development of independent judicial systems that play a key role in providing remedies for human rights violations as well as providing advice and assistance for prison system reforms. The OSCE will also work with other international organizations in the creation of political and legal frameworks within which the police can perform its tasks in accordance with democratic principles and the rule of law.


46. We remain committed to reinforcing the OSCE'skey role in maintaining peace and stability throughout our area. The OSCE's most effective contributions to regional security have been in areas such as field operations, post-conflict rehabilitation, democratization, and human rights and election monitoring. We have decided to explore options for a potentially greater and wider role for the OSCE in peacekeeping. Reaffirming our rights and obligations under the Charter of the United Nations, and on the basis of our existing decisions, we confirm that the OSCE can, on a case-by-case basis and by consensus, decide to play a role in peacekeeping, including a leading role when participating States judge it to be the most effective and appropriate organization. In this regard, it could also decide to provide the mandate covering peacekeeping by others and seek the support of participating States as well as other organizations to provide resources and expertise. In accordance with the Platform for Co-operative Security, it could also provide a co-ordinatingframework for such efforts.


47. We reiterate that the principle of the peaceful settlement of disputes is at the core of OSCE commitments. The Court of Conciliation and Arbitration, in this respect, remains a tool available to those, a large number of participating States, which have become parties to the 1992 Convention of Stockholm. We encourage them to use this instrument to resolve disputes between them, as well as with other participating States which voluntarily submit to the jurisdiction of the Court. We also encourage those participating States which have not yet done so to consider joining the Convention.


48. We recognize the interdependence between the security of the OSCE area and that of Partners for Co-operation, as well as our commitment to the relationship and the dialogue with them. We emphasize in particular the long-standing relations with our Mediterranean partners, Algeria, Egypt, Israel, Jordan, Morocco and Tunisia. We recognize the increased involvement in and support for the work of the OSCE by our Partners for Co-operation. Building on this interdependence, we are ready to develop this process further. Implementing and building on the Helsinki Document 1992 and the Budapest Document 1994, we will work more closely with the Partners for Co-operation to promote OSCE norms and principles. We welcome their wish to promote the realization of the Organization's norms and principles, including the fundamental principle of resolving conflicts through peaceful means. To this end, we will invite the Partners for Co-operation on a more regular basis to increased participation in the work of the OSCE as the dialogue develops.

49. The potential of the Contact Group and the Mediterranean seminars must be fully explored and exploited. Drawing on the Budapest mandate, the Permanent Council will examine the recommendations emerging from the Contact Group and the Mediterranean seminars. We will encourage the Mediterranean Partners for Co-operation to draw on our expertise in setting up structures and mechanisms in the Mediterranean for early warning, preventive diplomacy and conflict prevention.

50. We welcome the increased participation in our work by Japan and the Republic of Korea. We welcome the contribution by Japan to OSCE field activities. We will seek to strengthen further our co-operation with our Asian partners in meeting challenges of common interest.


51. This Charter will benefit the security of all participating States by enhancing and strengthening the OSCE as we enter the twenty-first century. Today we have decided to develop its existing instruments and to create new tools. We will use them fully to promote a free, democratic and secure OSCE area. The Charter will thus underpin the OSCE's role as the only pan-European security organization entrusted with ensuring peace and stability in its area. We appreciate the completion of the work of the Security Model Committee.

52. The original of the present Charter, drawn up in English, French, German, Italian, Russian and Spanish, will be transmitted to the Secretary General of the Organization, who will transmit a certified true copy of this Charter to each of the participating States.

We, the undersigned High Representatives of the participating States, mindful of the high political significance that we attach to the present Charter and declaring our determination to act in accordance with the provisions contained in the above text, have subscribed our signatures below.

Geschehen zu Istanbul
am 19. November 999

Done at Istanbul,
on 19 November 1999,
in the name of

Hecho en Estambul,
el 19 de noviembre de 1999
en nombre de

Fait à Istanbul,
le 19 novembre 1999
au nom

Fatto a Istanbul

il 19 novembre 1999

in nome

[Russian text here]


Operational Document - the Platform for Co-operative Security

I. The Platform

1. The goal of the Platform for Co-operative Security is to strengthen the mutually reinforcing nature of the relationship between those organizations and institutions concerned with the promotion of comprehensive security within the OSCE area.

2. The OSCE will work co-operatively with those organizations and institutions whose members individually and collectively, in a manner consistent with the modalities appropriate to each organization or institution, now and in the future:

- Adhere to the principles of the Charter of the United Nations and the OSCE principles and commitments as set out in the Helsinki Final Act, the Charter of Paris, the Helsinki Document 1992, the Budapest Document 1994, the OSCE Code of Conduct on politico-military aspects of security and the Lisbon Declaration on a Common and Comprehensive Security Model for Europe for the twenty-first century;

- Subscribe to the principles of transparency and predictability in their actions in the spirit of the Vienna Document 1999 of the Negotiations on Confidence- and Security-Building Measures;

- Implement fully the arms control obligations, including disarmament and CSBMs, to which they have committed themselves;

- Proceed on the basis that those organizations and institutions of which they are members will adhere to transparency about their evolution;

- Ensure that their membership in those organizations and institutions is based on openness and free will;

- Actively support the OSCE'sconcept of common, comprehensive and indivisible security and a common security space free of dividing lines;

- Play a full and appropriate part in the development of the relationships between mutually reinforcing security-related institutions in the OSCE area;

- Are ready in principle to deploy the institutional resources of international organizations and institutions of which they are members in support of the OSCE's work, subject to the necessary policy decisions as cases arise. In this regard, participating States note the particular relevance of co-operation in the areas of conflict prevention and crisis management.

3. Together these principles and commitments form the Platform for Co-operative Security.

II. Modalities for Co-operation

1. Within the relevant organizations and institutions of which they are members, participating States will work to ensure the organizations' and institutions' adherence to the Platform for Co-operative Security. Adherence, on the basis of decisions taken by each member State within relevant organizations and institutions, will take place in a manner consistent with the modalities appropriate to each organization or institution. Contacts and co-operation of the OSCE with other organizations and institutions will be transparent to participating States and will take place in a manner consistent with the modalities appropriate to the OSCE and those organizations and institutions.

2. At the 1997 Ministerial Meeting in Copenhagen, a decision was taken on the Common Concept for the Development of Co-operation between Mutually Reinforcing Institutions. We acknowledge the extensive network of contacts elaborated since then, in particular the growing co-operation with organizations and institutions active both in the politico-military field and in the human and economic dimensions of security, and the strengthening of co-operation between the OSCE and the various United Nations bodies and agencies, recalling the OSCE's role as a regional arrangement under the Charter of the United Nations. We are determined to develop this further.

3. The growing importance of subregional groupings in the work of the OSCE is another important area, and we support the growth in co-operation with these groups based on this Platform.

4. Development of co-operation can be further enhanced through extensive use of the following instruments and mechanisms:

- Regular contacts, including meetings; a continuous framework for dialogue; increased transparency and practical co-operation, including the identification of liaison officers or points of contact; cross-representation at appropriate meetings; and other contacts intended to increase understanding of each organization's conflict prevention tools.

5. In addition, the OSCE may engage in special meetings with other organizations, institutions and structures operating in the OSCE area. These meetings may be held at a political and/or executive level (to co-ordinate policies or determine areas of co-operation) and at a working level (to address the modalities of co-operation).

6. The development of the OSCE field operations in recent years has represented a major transformation of the Organization. In view of the adoption of the Platform for Co-operative Security, existing co-operation between the OSCE and other relevant international bodies, organizations and institutions in field operations should be developed and built upon in accordance with their individual mandates. Modalities for this form of co-operation could include: regular information exchanges and meetings, joint needs assessment missions, secondment of experts by other organizations to the OSCE, appointment of liaison officers, development of common projects and field operations, and joint training efforts.

7. Co-operation in responding to specific crises:

- The OSCE, through its Chairman-in-Office and supported by the Secretary General, and the relevant organizations and institutions are encouraged to keep each other informed of what actions they are undertaking or plan to undertake to deal with a particular situation;

- To this end, participating States encourage the Chairman-in-Office, supported by the Secretary General, to work with other organizations and institutions to foster co-ordinatedapproaches that avoid duplication and ensure efficient use of available resources. As appropriate, the OSCE can offer to serve as a flexible framework for co-operation of the various mutually reinforcing efforts. The Chairman-in-Office will consult with participating States on the process and will act in accordance with the results of these consultations.

8. The Secretary General shall prepare an annual report for the Permanent Council on interaction between organizations and institutions in the OSCE area.



19 November 1999

Original: ENGLISH

Adopted on 19 November 1999 in Istanbul.

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