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Editor's Blog and Industry Comments

OSCE Loses Its Edge As Old Conflicts Simmer On In The CIS

03 December, 2010
ProSecurityZone has been in Kazakhstan covering the first OSCE Summit to have been held in 11 years and which ended with a battle of unresolved semantics that stretched deep into the night
At 1am on Friday the 3rd December, almost 10 hours after a resolution should have been signed, a remarkably fresh looking Nursultan Nazarbayev emerged through the doors to the press conference surrounded by weary looking delegates who were already diluted down to the assistants of deputies long after the top level attendees had all gone home.


The aim of reaching agreement on establishing trust, transparency and tolerance through open dialogue from Vancouver to Vladivostok didn't quite get the support it deserved. So called "frozen" conflicts in the former Soviet states were the cause of the brawl that spoiled the party atmosphere in Kazakhstan's glitzy new capital that had been polished up and prepared perfectly for the occasion.

Azerbaijan and Armenia were at irreconcilable odds over Nagorno-Karabakh and Russia was fuming over wording in the Astana Declaration about "refraining from maintaining ties with disputed regions in a way that would challenge the sovereignty of Georgia".

Uncontested aspects of the Astana Declaration included sections covering violence against women and human trafficking. Cyber crime was touched upon with a resolution on cyber security which escalates the seriousness of cyber attacks on vital state infrastructure as being of equal significance as conventional attacks. This section of the declaration also urges governments to revise legislation to reflect the seriousness of such crime and to boost levels of international co-operation to combat the threat.

After the massive amounts of effort and money that Astana and the Kazakh government have spent on hosting this ambitious event and the faith shown by the 58 nations who chose to provide their support, it would be a complete waste for the organisation to completely lose its bite and credibility amidst the widespread and largely unjustified press condemnation. The "frozen" conflict debate remains unresolved but there is still considerable mileage to be had from other resolutions from the Astana Declaration that affect a much wider community than Moldova and the Caucasus.
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