On 4 May 2023, Federal Councillor Ignazio Cassis chaired the annual UN Security Council briefing on cooperation between the UN and the Organisation for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE). At this meeting, the current OSCE Chairperson-in-Office Bujar Osmani, Foreign Minister of Northern Macedonia, briefed the Council on the OSCE’s priorities and activities. The UN Charter recognises the importance of cooperation between the UN and the various regional organisations, including the African Union, the League of Arab States and the European Union. In May, the UN and the OSCE celebrate the 30th anniversary of their cooperation, which was sealed with the signing of an agreement in 1993. Russia's military aggression against Ukraine represents the greatest challenge in the history of the OSCE. Against this backdrop, the leitmotif chosen by the current OSCE Chairmanship, "It’s About People", is more relevant than ever. "Our primary responsibility is to protect the civilian population. This responsibility is the essence of the link between the OSCE and the United Nations," Federal Councillor Cassis underlined in the Security Council.
The OSCE is the largest regional security organisation in the world. Its presence in 13 countries has a stabilising effect in regions such as the Western Balkans, the Caucasus or Central Asia. The OSCE has mechanisms to document violations of human rights and international humanitarian law. It also does important work to counter the negative effects of climate change in the region, for example in the sustainable management of water resources. "We must not allow the future of Europe to be decided by the law of force. Switzerland is committed to holding the force of law against this. It is up to all of us to preserve the OSCE's capacity for action," Federal Councillor Cassis highlighted in New York. For the OSCE should remain central to the promotion of dialogue and the peaceful resolution of conflicts in Europe.