The OSCE Programme Office in Astana organized the four-day event in co-operation with Kazakhstan’s Defence Ministry and with the support of the OSCE field presences for some 50 military officers from Armenia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Mongolia, Tajikistan and Turkmenistan. Participants will discuss how to ensure the implementation of the Document’s provisions in Central Asia and the Southern Caucasus and the role of the OSCE in promoting regional security and the challenges it faces in this regard.
Sharing their expertise are military and civilian experts from Belarus, France, Germany and Hungary as well as representatives from the OSCE Forum for Security Co-operation and the Conference on Interaction and Confidence-Building Measures in Asia.
“The Vienna Document is one of the most important instruments of the OSCE Politico-Military Dimension and it is based on co-operation, transparency, confidence-building and a system of verification,” said Major General Askhat Ryspayev, Head of the National University of Defence, “Although the main goal of our annual seminars is to learn the letter and word of the Vienna Document, it is equally vital that the participants come to understand the spirit of the Document too.”
Ambassador Natalia Zarudna, the Head of the OSCE Programme Office in Astana, said: “For the last year the necessity of strictly fulfilling the obligations of the Vienna Document 2011 has become more obvious. Under the current complicated security conditions, all participating States need to once again analyse the accomplishments and shortcomings in the work of the OSCE and other international organizations. States need to be prompted to re-examine and renew the arsenal of tools to counter new threats and challenges to the indivisibility of security in the OSCE region.”
On 29 May, the participants will conduct a simulated inspection visit to the 36th Air Assault Brigade base near Astana and discuss their findings in accordance with the provisions of the Vienna Document on compliance and verification.
The Vienna Document 2011 obliges OSCE participating States to share information on their armed forces and military activities. It also contains provisions on compliance and verification, such as conducting and hosting inspections and evaluations, as well as on risk reduction, military contacts and co-operation, and prior notification of certain military activities.
The regional seminars on the Vienna Document in Kazakhstan have been conducted with the support of OSCE Field Operation in Astana since 2007. This event is part of the Office’s long-standing effort to raise awareness about OSCE confidence- and security-building measures and promote regional security.