(OSCE) - The Forum for Security Co-operation (FSC) has become a major mechanism for ensuring the OSCE norms of openness and transparency work in the politico-military sphere. This was the main point made at a landmark 500th meeting of the Forum held in Vienna, reports Trend.
"Since its first meeting on 22 September 1992, the FSC has remained a key negotiating body within the OSCE," said Ambassador Barbara Gibson of Canada, the FSC Chair, addressing delegates and guests at the meeting at the OSCE's Hofburg venue.
"New developments in the European and global security landscape have forced us to set priorities and focus on those threats which are common to all, or which pose regional risks to some. This does not mean that the era of "traditional" arms control and disarmament agreements has passed. The implementation of existing documents and treaties will remain a crucial element of the OSCE security architecture."
OSCE Secretary General Marc Perrin de Brichambaut added: "The FSC projects and activities enforce the Organization's ability to deal with new tasks and contribute to strengthening security in the region."
In 2006, the FSC was chaired by Bosnia-Herzegovina, Bulgaria and Canada. During this period, the Forum held a high-level seminar which examined changes in military doctrine derived from evolving threats, changing forms of conflict, emerging technologies and their impact on armed forces and their defence structures.
National strategies and action plans to implement UN Security Council Resolution 1540 on the non-proliferation of weapons of mass destruction and ways of keeping them out of the reach of terrorist groups were the focus of an FSC meeting in November.
Implementing OSCE Documents on Small Arms and Light Weapons and Stockpiles of Conventional Ammunition was also on this year's FSC agenda, with projects being carried out in Armenia, Belarus, Kazakhstan, Tajikistan and Ukraine. Projects on eliminating surplus rocket fuel ("melange"), a highly toxic missile fuel component, are on the way in several States.
The FSC works closely with the United Nations, NATO, the Collective Security Treaty Organization and the European Union.
Next year the FSC will be chaired by Cyprus, Croatia and Denmark.
The FSC is distinct from the Permanent Council, another OSCE decision-making body.