The Republic of Serbia has been a member of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) since 10 November 2000. On 27 November 2000, at the meeting of the OSCE Ministerial Council in Vienna, the Republic of Serbia signed the OSCE key documents (the Helsinki Final Act, the Charter of Paris, the Istanbul Charter), thereby accepting all rules, standards and obligations arising from those documents.
The Republic of Serbia has its Permanent Mission to the OSCE in Vienna (www.osce-vienna.mfa.gov.rs) and it actively participates in the OSCE’s activities in all three dimensions — the politico-military dimension, the economic and environmental dimension, and the human dimension, as well as in the activities of the OSCE Parliamentary Assembly.
In 2015, Serbia was chairing the OSCE, having taken over the OSCE Chairmanship from Switzerland. In 2016, Serbia handed over the Chairmanship to Germany.
Serbia's OSCE Chairmanship was an extremely complex task in light of the contemporary international circumstances and the OSCE’s special role in the resolution of the Ukrainian crisis.
Serbia’s Chairmanship has been deemed successful by all 57 participating States and 11 Partners for Co-operation. That extraordinary opportunity to chair an international organisation has contributed to the enhancement of Serbia’s international importance and reputation.
The Chairmanship ended at the Ministerial Council in Belgrade, held at the Belgrade Arena on 3−4 December 2015. The OSCE Ministerial Council session was opened by the then Prime Minister of Serbia, Aleksandar Vučić, and it was attended by 44 delegations at the ministerial level. Six decisions were adopted: the Declaration on Reinforcing OSCE Efforts to Counter Terrorism in the Wake of Recent Terrorist Attacks; the Declaration on Preventing and Countering Violent Extremism and Radicalization Leading to Terrorism; the Declaration on the OSCE Activities in Support of Global Efforts in Tackling the World Drug Problem; the Declaration on Youth and Security; the Ministerial Statement on the negotiations on the Transnistrian settlement process in the “5+2” format; and the Decision on Time and Place of the Next Meeting of the OSCE Ministerial Council in Hamburg, on 8−9 December 2016.
Serbia, as a country on the road to EU accession, is committed to cooperation with the OSCE, particularly with regard to the process of reform and achievement of high democratic standards, reconciliation in the region, and resolution of other matters. This is done primarily through a partnership and successful cooperation with the two OSCE missions on Serbia’s territory: the OSCE Mission to Serbia and the OSCE Mission in Kosovo, as well as other missions in the region.
The OSCE Mission to Serbia was established on 11 January 2001. Its activities are carried out in partnership with Serbia’s state authorities, and they are focused on four programme areas: 1) rule of law and human rights, 2) police reform, 3) democratisation, 4) media development. The Mission provides advice for the drafting and the application of statutes, reform strategies and action plans, it supports reinforcement of democratic institutions, it encourages dialogue at the national and regional level concerning refugees and displaced persons, and it provides support for the development of regional cooperation and reconciliation. The OSCE Mission to Serbia cooperates closely with independent institutions and the non-governmental sector in the country.
The OSCE Mission in Kosovo was established on 1 July 1999, as the third pillar of the international presence in Kosovo and Metohija, which was established by the United Nations Security Council Resolution 1244. This Mission contributes to the development of a multi-ethnic democratic society, in a neutral manner and through cooperation with other international organisations and institutions. Its goal is to ensure respect for human rights, institution building and promotion of democracy. It carries out its activities through three main programmes: 1) Human and community rights programme, 2) Democratisation programme, and 3) Public security programme. This Mission is the second largest OSCE field presence.