The OSCE (The Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe
) primarily represented (in the middle of 70s of the last century) a multilateral forum for dialogue and negotiation between West and East, i.e. Conference on Security and Co-operation in Europe (CSCE). The CSCE functioned as a series of meetings and conferences, which established norms and commitments for the participating States (35 of them signed the Helsinki Final Act in 1975), and occasionally evaluated their implementation. Following the end of the Cold War and the fall of the Berlin Wall, the meetings became more regular and the work of the Conference more structured, thus in 1994 the CSCE changed its title to the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe - OSCE.
OSCE is the largest regional and security organization in the world that gathers 56 participating States and has 19 field missions. The Organization covers wide spectrum of activities relating to all three dimensions of security - the political-military, the economic and environmental and the human dimension. Due to the fact that it does not have its own armed forces and resources for peace establishment, the activities of OSCE are primarily focused on early warning, prevention of conflicts, crisis management and post-conflict rehabilitation. In that respect it mostly uses preventive diplomacy that includes arms control, increase of confidence among the states, monitoring respect for human rights and rights of national minorities, observation of elections, measures against trafficking in human beings, fight against terrorism and monitoring of economic and environmental relations.
Participating States to OSCE enjoy equal status and the decisions within the organization are made by consensus. They are political but not legally binding.
OSCE Unified Budget is financed by the contributions of the participating States according to the differently set scales and principles. Approximately 75% of the budget funds are set for financing field operations, 15% for functioning of the Secretariat and 10% for ODIHR. OSCE currently has 3,500 employees.