SLOVAKIA’S CHAIRMANSHIP OF THE OSCE
Priorities and Challenges
Wednesday, April 3, 2019
Senate Visitor Center
Live Webcast: www.youtube.com/HelsinkiCommission
In 2019, Slovakia holds the chairmanship of the world’s largest regional security organization: the 57-nation Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE), which stretches from North America through Europe, Central Asia, and Mongolia.
Regional challenges include Russia’s continued aggression in Ukraine; protracted conflicts in Transnistria, Georgia, and Nagorno-Karabakh; increasing instability in the Western Balkans; and Turkey’s campaign to stifle dissent in every sector. Many countries are struggling—or failing—to live up to their OSCE commitments in the areas of human rights, democracy, and the rule of law, and vulnerable communities are targets of discrimination and violence. At the same time, recent developments in Armenia and Central Asia hold some of the best hopes for positive change in the region.
At his first congressional hearing, Slovakia’s Minister of Foreign Affairs, Miroslav Lajcak, will discuss the chairmanship’s priorities for the OSCE in 2019 and its plans for progress.
The Commission on Security and Cooperation in Europe, also known as the U.S. Helsinki Commission, is an independent commission of the Federal Government charged with monitoring compliance with the Helsinki Accords and advancing comprehensive security through promotion of human rights, democracy, and economic, environmental and military cooperation in 57 countries. The Commission consists of nine members from the U.S. Senate, nine from the House of Representatives, and one member each from the Departments of State, Defense, and Commerce.