Switzerland to bring new perspective to politico-military issues during Forum for Security Co-operation Chairmanship, says State Secretary Baeriswyl

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VIENNA, Switzerland aims to bring a new perspective to established and current politico-military issues, said the State Secretary of the Swiss Federal Department of Foreign Affairs, Pascale Baeriswyl, as she opened the country's Chairmanship of the Forum for Security Co-operation (FSC) in Vienna today. Baeriswyl added that Switzerland will engage in dedicated discussions and constructive debates to achieve more confidence and transparency on politico-military issues amongst all 57 OSCE participating States.

In her opening speech, Baeriswyl recognized the unique potential of the FSC as a platform with a wide range of tools at its disposal to approach complex politico-military questions in an inclusive and pragmatic manner. However she also acknowledged the difficulty of implementing the Swiss Chair's core principles of co-operation and pragmatism during this currently challenging political climate.

Switzerland plans to encourage openness to new ideas, topics and expertise. New ideas will allow the FSC to explore the potential of existing tools and commitments, said Baeriswyl. Moreover, the Swiss State Secretary reminded OSCE participating States to reinforce their adherence to existing commitments, urging them to reflect and remind themselves of the principles of the Helsinki Decalogue and the Charter of Paris, as they build the core of the agreed OSCE principles.

Turning to the programme of the Swiss Chairmanship, which will extend to the end of the Easter recess, Baeriswyl said the focus will be on both established and newer aspects of political and military security: Well-established FSC topics such as small arms and light weapons, stockpiles of conventional ammunition and the Vienna Document on Confidence- and Security-Building Measures and the OSCE Code of Conduct on Politico-Military Aspects of Security will be analyzed from different angles. Emerging topics and challenges, such as the role of private military and security companies, and aspects of modern warfare will also be addressed.

A running theme throughout the Chairmanship will be gender equality in the field of peace and security, she said, adding that Switzerland defines gender equality as an equal partnership between women and men. As well as chairing a Security Dialogue on UN Security Council Resolution 1325 on Women, Peace and Security, Switzerland would bring gender to the next level of the security debate by replacing the 'why' with the 'how'.

Baeriswyl expressed her thanks to Sweden, which chaired the FSC during the previous trimester, and said that she looked forward to working in the FSC Troika with both the outgoing Chair and Tajikistan, which will chair the FSC in the second trimester of the year. She said Switzerland will fully coordinate its FSC programme with Slovakia, which is chairing the OSCE in 2019.

Source: Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe