Representatives of the 56 OSCE participating States discussed on 11 July 2012 the implementation of the OSCE Code of Conduct on Politico-Military Aspects of Security at its first ever annual review meeting.
The Code of Conduct is a landmark document in security sector reform and governance, adopted in 1994. It governs the role of armed forces in democratic societies. Through the Code, OSCE participating States commit themselves to the democratic control of their armed forces and to other important principles of inter-state behaviour.
Opening the meeting on behalf of the Latvian Chairmanship of the Forum for Security Co-operation (FSC), the OSCE forum in which the meeting was organized, Latvian Ambassador Gints Apals said: "The Code of Conduct is one of the most important documents of the OSCE. Its provisions for the democratic control of armed forces and inter-State relations bear critical relevance in today's security environment in the OSCE, but also beyond."
Marcel Peško, the Director of the Office of the OSCE Secretary General, underlined that “in today’s world, no stability can be sustainable if the democratic control of armed forces is not assured. The Code of Conduct remains therefore a cornerstone of our security community”. He emphasized the role of the Code of Conduct “as a basis for discussions on the important inter-state principles such as the indivisibility of security, co-operative security or the commitment not to strengthen one’s security at the expense of others.”
Peško invited States to discuss how better use could be made of the data collected as part of the Code of Conduct in the annual information exchange on politico-military issues, conducted through questionnaires, to which this year 53 participating States have responded.