On August 12, at 12:00 noon Moscow time (GMT + 3), the Valdai Discussion Club will host an online discussion dedicated to the 45th anniversary of the CSCE Helsinki Final Act (Conference on Security and Cooperation in Europe), titled "World Peace Without the OSCE 45 years Ago. Was It Possible?"
Traditionally, the signing of the Helsinki Act is considered one of the turning points in international politics in Europe, which could create the foundation for an indivisible regional security system. According to a widespread view, the first and only large-scale agreement between East and West during the Cold War helped to defuse and eliminate many of the dangers of an all-out war on the continent ever taking place. However, after the end of the Cold War, the OSCE was unable to acquire the quality of a universal regional organisation in the field of security and cooperation; dividing lines in Europe still exist. Historically, the important question now is: Was the Final Act really meaningful for peace in Europe, or just one of the episodes of the Cold War that each side sought to use to its own advantage?
The OSCE is still participating in the settlement of conflicts. Its representatives often cite the settlement of the Transnistrian conflict as an example of success. At the same time, they are very restrained in speaking about the situation in Ukraine, although the OSCE special mission is still present in the conflict zone.
After 45 years, there is a need to critically assess the role of the OSCE. Were there alternatives to Helsinki? How real is general security in the area from Vancouver to Vladivostok in a situation where the international arms control system is degrading? Is it possible to rethink the tasks of the OSCE in the current international situation? The participants in the discussion will answer these and other questions.
- Igor Istomin, Associate Professor, Department of Applied International Analysis, MGIMO University
- Alexander Lukashevich, Permanent Representative of Russia to the OSCE
- Rein Müllerson, Professor Emeritus, Tallinn University
- Alexander Rahr, Research Director, German-Russian Forum