This content was published in the period between 21 January 2019 and 8 July 2021.

OSCE Chairperson-in-Office Ann Linde’s Special Representatives meet to strengthen conflict resolution efforts

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In her role as Chairperson-in-Office of the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe, Minister for Foreign Affairs Ann Linde today hosted a meeting with her Special and Personal Representatives to the protracted conflicts in the region. The representatives are meeting digitally over two days to exchange experiences on conflict resolution and how to make these processes more inclusive.

As part of the Swedish OSCE Chairpersonship’s ambition to strengthen the organization’s conflict resolution efforts in the long term, Ms Linde invited the Special and Personal Representatives dealing with some of the protracted conflicts in the OSCE region, and her Special Envoy, to a two-day meeting co-organised with the Folke Bernadotte Academy. The meeting is being held on 3–4 May.

One of Sweden’s main priorities for its OSCE Chairpersonship is to contribute to resolving conflicts in the OSCE region. The seminar represents a concrete contribution to this through skills development and experience exchanges for the representatives tasked with taking part in the negotiations to resolve some of the protracted conflicts in the OSCE area. At the meeting – being held for the first time on Sweden’s initiative – the representatives will have a chance to discuss common challenges and exchange experiences from their work with conflict resolution. Among the questions that will be discussed are how to make conflict resolution processes more inclusive and what the OSCE can do to strengthen civil society’s and women’s and girls’ participation and influence in them.

Taking part in the meeting are Ambassador Heidi Grau (Special Representative for Ukraine), Ambassador Annika Söder (Special Representative for South Caucasus), Ambassador Andrzej Kasprzyk (Special Representative for Nagorno-Karabakh) and Ambassador Thomas Mayr-Harting (Personal Representative for Transnistria). Ms Linde’s Special Envoy, Kent Härstedt, will also take part in the meetings.

This year marks ten years since the OSCE Ministerial Council decided to strengthen the OSCE’s various conflict resolution tools, such as conflict prevention efforts, early warning, dialogue facilitation, mediation support and post-conflict rehabilitation (referred to in the OSCE as ‘the conflict cycle’). The Swedish Chairpersonship will highlight this tenth anniversary with a series of meetings and seminars on how to strengthen work on the conflict cycle.

Ms Linde opened the meeting with an initial discussion with all representatives. In the following days, the representatives will continue discussions under the leadership of the Folke Bernadotte Academy. The meetings are being held digitally in accordance with prevailing COVID-19 restrictions.