US and European Union diplomats will be looking to reinvigorate the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe when a Ministerial Council meeting convenes in Vilnius, Lithuania, on December 6-7. High on the meeting agenda is a proposal to create a diplomatic rapid reaction team.
During the past few years the OSCE has seen its reputation as Europe’s foremost democratization organization slip significantly. A sub-grouping of member states, at the center of which is Russia, has pushed to neutralize the OSCE’s human rights and election monitoring capabilities. The OSCE also has been exposed as ineffectual as a vehicle for conflict resolution, underscored by its tentative performance in response to Kyrgyzstan’s social upheaval in 2010, as well as by the stalemated Nagorno-Karabakh peace process.
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Catherine A. Fitzpatrick writes about human rights issues in Central Asia. She is also editor of EurasiaNet's Choihona and Sifting the Karakum blogs.