Europe gets together in Hamburg: meeting of the OSCE Ministerial Council

Today and on Friday, over 50 foreign ministers and 1,300 representatives of 57 delegations of the OSCE (Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe) member states are meeting at the Hamburg exhibition grounds for their Ministerial Council. The event is being hosted by Germany’s Federal Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier. Due to its international character, Hamburg is the ideal location and will be in the international limelight for two days.

Hamburg's First Mayor Olaf Scholz welcomes the event: “The OSCE conference is an honour for our cosmopolitan city.

I am pleased that such a major conference is taking place in Hamburg. We are currently witnessing that peace is repeatedly threatened and that wars such as the Syrian war have an impact on us all. Especially in unsettled times it is important that leading politicians get together and talk. Hamburg is well suited for this: as a trading hub it has always had an international focus. Just think of the Hanseatic League, which represented peace and security in Europe for centuries.”

According to German Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier, Hamburg is predestined for this due to its cosmopolitan, open-minded character and its international links. Mr Steinmeier also stressed the proverbial hanseatic spirit that has promoted a culture of participation for centuries.

Topics of the Ministerial Council in Hamburg – which will be attended e.g. by John Kerry (USA) and Sergei

Lavrov (Russia) – include the OSCE's commitment in the Ukraine, Transnistria, Nagorno-Karabakh and Georgia as well as terrorism, arms control and means of strengthening the OSCE. The meeting represents the concluding highlight of Germany’s OSCE chairmanship. After 1991, it is the second time for Germany to chair the world's largest regional security organisation. In keeping with the guiding theme – “Renewing dialogue, rebuilding confidence, restoring security” – Frank-Walter Steinmeier as the OSCE’s chairperson-in-office focused on strengthening the OSCE's instruments and institutions, promoting dialogue among OSCE countries and rebuilding confidence in Europe. One of the OSCE’s key strategies is to defuse conflicts through trust-building measures.

Next summer, the world will once again gather in Hamburg as the OSCE conference will be followed by the G20 summit on 7 and 8 July 2017. The G20 is a meeting of the world’s leading industrialised and emerging economies. In 2017, the rotating chair will be held by Germany. Following a suggestion by Chancellor Angela Merkel, the G20 summit is scheduled to take place in Hamburg.

Hamburg’s First Mayor Olaf Scholz: “A meeting such as the G20 contributes to fostering dialogue between politicians from around the world. There is a lot going on in the world at the moment. A new US President, Brexit, the situation in Turkey, violent conflicts – there is a need for dialogue, and it is good to talk in Hamburg.” More information on Hamburg:

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