Glossary: Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE)

Established as the Conference on Security and Cooperation in Europe (CSCE) in July 1972 by Canada, the United States, and all of the European states except Albania. In August 1975, these states signed the Helsinki Accords, confirming existing, post-World War II boundaries and obligating signatories to respect basic principles of human rights. Subsequently the CSCE held sessions and consultations on European security issues. The Charter of Paris (1990) established the CSCE as a permanent organization. In 1992 new CSCE roles in conflict prevention and management were defined, potentially making the CSCE the center of a Europe-based collective security system--a role advocated by Russia in the mid-1990s. The CSCE became the OSCE in January 1995. As of 1996, fifty-three nations were members.

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