Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE)

With 57 participating States in, Europe, Asia and North America, the OSCE – the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe – is the world’s largest regional security organization. The OSCE works to build and sustain stability, peace and democracy for more than one billion people, through political dialogue and projects on the ground.

The OSCE has a comprehensive approach to security encompassing three dimensions: the politico-military, the economic and environmental, and the human dimension. The Organization helps to bridge differences, build trust and foster co-operation within and between states, and works to prevent conflict, manage crises, and promote post-conflict rehabilitation.

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Climate Action 

Within the framework of its comprehensive approach to security, the OSCE provides a platform for political dialogue to address potential implications of climate change on security. 

The OSCE, together with its international partners, also implements activities on the ground to raise awareness and to assess and address climate-related security risks, and to support developing co-operative measures to address such risks at transboundary level.

The 2007 Madrid Declaration on Environment and Security adopted by the Ministers of Foreign Affairs of the OSCE participating States refers to climate change as a long term challenge and defines a complementary role for the OSCE.

In 2021, the OSCE is chaired by Sweden. The Programme of the Swedish OSCE Chairpersonship 2021 within the overall framework of “building resilient and more robust societies to counter threats to human security” states the following: “Climate change and natural degradation affect millions of women, men, girls and boys around the world and in the OSCE region. More attention needs to be paid to the link between climate change and security. Prevention and peacebuilding need to become climate aware, and efforts to combat climate change should be made conflict sensitive. Cooperation on environmental issues may also have positive outcomes beyond improvement in the local environment. As Chair, we [Sweden] will continue the OSCE’s active role in preventing and countering environmental and climate change-related security challenges."

Featured Events 

Security Days: The OSCE and the Sustainable Development Goals, Vienna, 04 June 2019

Security days: Climate Change and Security - Unprecedented impacts, unpredictable risks, Vienna, 28 October 2015

Environment and Security Issues in the Southern Mediterranean Region, Jordan, 18-22 June 2012

Featured Publications 

Esra Buttanri (IFSH), Climate Change, Global Security, and the OSCE, in OSCE Yearbook 2019

An interview with the (former) OSCE Secretary General

Results of climate security risk assessment in Central Asia, Eastern Europe and the Southern Caucasus, 8 October 2015

Madrid Declaration on Environment and Security, 3 December 2007

Featured Initiatives 

The Environment and Security (ENVSEC) Initiative

Launched in 2003, the initiative grew out of discussions at the OSCE Economic and Environmental Forum. Its primary objective is to tackle environment and security risks through promoting environmental co-operation among and within the countries of four regions, namely Eastern Europe, South-Eastern Europe, the South Caucasus and Central Asia.