CSCE/OSCE key documents
The Helsinki Final Act
The Helsinki Final Act (1975) is considered the Organization’s founding document.
The Charter of Paris for a New Europe
The Paris Charter for a New Europe (1990) sets the basis for the institutionalization of the Conference in a new decade.
The Istanbul Charter for European Security
The Istanbul Charter for European Security (1999) strengthens the Organization's ability to prevent conflicts, settle them peacefully, and rehabilitate societies ravaged by war and conflict.
The Astana Commemorative Declaration: Towards a Security Community
The Astana Commemorative Declaration: Towards a Security Community (2010) reaffirms the participating States’ commitments and adherence to OSCE principles.
Decision-making at OSCE
The decision-making processes of the OSCE negotiating bodies are governed by the Rules of Procedure.
OSCE decisions are adopted by consensus by the participating States and reflect their agreed views. They are politically binding.
Statements, declarations, reports, letters or other types of documents adopted by an OSCE decision-making body are considered to be official OSCE documents.
There are four levels of OSCE decision-making platforms:
- Meetings of Heads of State or Government (Summits) take decisions, set priorities and provide guidance at the highest political level.
- The Ministerial Council (MC), which gathers ministers of foreign affairs of the OSCE participating States, is the main decision-making and governing body of the OSCE between Summits.
- The Permanent Council (PC), meets regularly in Vienna to conduct political consultations and to govern the operational work of the Organization. This body also implements, within its area of competence, tasks defined and decisions taken at Summits and Ministerial Council meetings.
- The Forum for Security Co-operation (FSC) is an autonomous decision-making body with a mandate set by Summit and Ministerial decisions. It covers fundamental politico-military agreements and helps to implement confidence- and security-building measures to regulate the exchange of military information and mutual verification between States.