VIENNA, 25 June 2012 – New approaches to arms control, resolving protracted conflicts and promoting reconciliation as foundations for strengthening security in the OSCE area are the focus of OSCE Security Days 2012 in Vienna today.
The inaugural Security Days event brings together a prominent group of experts and OSCE delegates to discuss new security challenges and the role of civil society in shaping a security community.
Taking place ahead of the OSCE's Annual Security Review Conference, Security Days aims to open up the security debate beyond intergovernmental processes to include academics, think tank experts, journalists and the general public, said OSCE Secretary General Lamberto Zannier.
"At the OSCE we are coming to an important juncture," said Zannier. "We have started a vital debate on building a security community, which represents a further step in developing a new security relationship in the OSCE area, looking at the Euro-Atlantic dimension, the Eurasian and the Euro-Mediterranean as well. This is forcing us to relook at the traditional security tools of the OSCE, such as arms control, confidence and security-building measures, globalization and transnational threats. It raises important questions - how should we adjust - do we need to evolve, do we need to reprioritize our activities? The agenda for Security Days is wide open and leaves space for everyone to contribute."
Opening speeches were also held by Ambassador Eoin O'Leary on behalf of the 2012 Irish OSCE Chairmanship and the President of the Foreign Policy and United Nations Association of Austria and former Austrian Chancellor Wolfgang Schüssel.
Sessions today include: "Shaping a Security Community: thematic and geographic issues within a comprehensive security agenda"; "Shaping a Security Community: addressing emerging global challenges. Developing a new approach to conventional arms control?"; and "Towards Reconciliation: addressing the protracted conflicts and revitalizing dialogue". (OSCE)