OSCE Co-operation Partnership – Conferences in Spain and Australia 2018
OSCE Mediterranean Conference 2018, © GER_OSCE
Since the beginning of the 1990s, the OSCE has been engaged in dialogue with some southern Mediterranean countries (Algeria, Morocco, Tunisia, Egypt, Israel, Jordan) and with some Asian countries (Japan, South Korea, Thailand, Australia, Afghanistan).
In our globalized and interconnected world, developments in North Africa or Asia-Pacific also impact on the OSCE participating States. Upheavals in the Arab world, nuclear threats in North-East Asia, drug trafficking and terrorism in Central Asia, population development and migration are among others developments that directly affect the entire OSCE area.
Germany attaches great importance to OSCE cooperation partnerships and therefore also supports them by financing joint Projects.
The exchange of information and experience between OSCE participating States and cooperation partners takes place through regular meetings in Vienna, joint expert events and practical projects as well as one annual conference per region with a high level of political participation.
The OSCE Mediterranean Conference 2018 took place on 25/26 October 2018 in Malaga/Spain.
More than 180 participants from 46 OSCE and Partner States, including 18 (Deputy) Foreign Ministers or Secretaries of State, the Secretaries-General of the Union for the Mediterranean and OSCE and representatives of the Arab League, discussed the general theme “The Importance of Energy for Economic Growth and Co-operation”.
In addition to high-level exchanges, the conference provided an opportunity for exchange of information and experience between diplomats, energy experts from international organizations, academia, associations and business sector on both sides of the Mediterranean. The four conference parts served this purpose:
- “Connectivity, Growth and Co-operation: the Role of Energy”;
- “Protecting Critical Energy Infrastructure”;
- “Shaping the Euture of Energy in the Region – the Role of Private Sector” (Side-event);
- “Reshaping the Benefits of Renewables”.
The OSCE Asian Conference 2018 took place on 5 November 2018 in Canberra/Australia.
The conference was dedicated to the general theme “Common Challenges and Opportunities for the Indo-Pacific and OSCE Regions” and underlined its value as a platform for sharing information and experiences on the OSCE and Asia-Pacific region alike on challenges such as cyber, counterterrorism, preventive diplomacy and confidence-building or implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals.
Germany was represented by the Director General for Asia and the Pacific department at the Foreign Office, Ina Lepel, who in her statement inter alia highlighted the importance of multilateral cooperation: “Multilateral co-operation can and must be an essential contribution to peace and stability”.
Further topics, which were discussed:
- “The utility of multilateral architecture in enhancing security and prosperity in the Asia Pacific and OSCE regions”;
- “Perspectives on strengthening economic connectivity and integration”;
- “Perspectives on promoting human rights and humanitarian issues”.
There was agreement among the participants that major strategic changes in the area of global and economic powers are currently taking place. Especially in relation to China, the experiences of the OSCE Asian partners are very valuable. The rule-based order must be maintained and strengthened. Economic connectivity and regional cooperation are the future, effective multilateralism is now important. Regional organizations has to play a major role. The OSCE is well suited.