Each year, a different state chairs the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE). In 2023, the Republic of North Macedonia will be chairing the OSCE. To help North Macedonia’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs to prepare for this task, the IFSH’s Centre for OSCE Research (CORE) organized a training course in Skopje on 12-13 September 2022. Bringing together 30 participants, including North Macedonia’s foreign minister Bujar Osmani and deputy minister Fatmire Isaki, the course allowed officials from North Macedonia to discuss the role of the Chair and likely challenges the country will face.
The OSCE has 57 participating States, including the United States and Russia. Chairing the world’s largest regional security organization has always been difficult because the OSCE takes decisions by consensus. Russia’s war against Ukraine has made it even more difficult for the Chair to forge consensus and to run activities such as managing conflicts, protecting the environment, and promoting human rights. Speakers from the OSCE Secretariat, institutions, and delegations offered ideas on how the Chair can navigate Russia’s violation of central OSCE principles. CORE was represented by Frank Evers, Cornelius Friesendorf, and Argyro Kartsonaki. The training program was funded by the German Federal Foreign Office. CORE has been offering training programs for incoming OSCE Chairs since 2007.