HOW BUCHAREST CONFERENCE ON OSCE WAS ORGANIZED by Professor Dr.Anton Caragea MA, FINS,EDA

October 23, 2012

2010 has being an important year for Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe, as the only chance for a survival of this important organization, legacy of cold war, had being played out.

Professor dr. Anton Caragea – President of Bucharest Conference on OSCE-24 February 2010

The Kazakhstan Presidency of OSCE had come in a difficult time for the organization. OSCE has being one of the main results of the Final Declaration of Helsinki Conference, designed to create a forum for continuous dialogue between the communist powers and capitalist powers.

Opening of Bucharest Conference on OSCE-24 February 2010

The long period of the Cold War had seen important moments of tension between the two opposite power`s : USSR and United States, having as center the European continent: Berlin Blockade, Berlin Wall, 1956- Hungary Revolution, 1968- Czechoslovakia Revolution etc.

These continuous tensions, on the fringes of European continent and the issue of the frontiers drawn after the Second World War, needed a platform for dialogue and mutual understanding between the Cold War adversaries.

The CSCE ( The Council for Security and Cooperation in Europe ), as it was the former name of OSCE, had succeeded in this task of providing a rostrum for declarations, dialogue and détente between the irreconcilable adversaries of the cold war.

The period after the collapse of the communist system in Europe assured, after the extinction of Warsaw Treaty, a new period of glory for CSCE.

Re-named as OSCE, the organization provided a formula for democratic support tor former communist states and a dialogue and security forum, in a changing world, until the NATO decided to expand and include former communist satellite from Eastern Europe.

From this moment, the downfall of the organization had being sharply and rapid. The last of the summits, held in 1999 in Istanbul, failed to offer a new conceptual reconstruction of the OSCE and failed even to open the opportunity for a new high level summit of the organization.

The agreement for putting OSCE in a shadow corner was clearly marked , for NATO and United States the organization become superfluous and un-necessary. The security of the European countries become a task for the armed arm of the western world: NATO and the economic and human dimension was entrusted to European Union expansion.

For Russia, OSCE had become guilty of becoming an anti-chamber of the NATO expansion and was perceived as a fostering tool for promoting the dismantling of the former Soviet Union, under the name banner of promoting a so called democracy.

In 2010, Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe was confronted with the lack of vision, lack of concept and was victim of an extensive period without a high level meeting, from 1999.

The Kazakhstan Presidency was confronted with a negative perception. The promoters of a special kind of democracy where discussing the Kazakhstan track record in fulfilling a hypothetical democracy scale. Other countries, after a failed mandate at the presidency of OSCE, where not to eager to offer to a new comer a red carpet treatment.

Finally, the organization was confronted with a lack of resources and visionary leadership and controlled by a conservative state of mind: if we did not need a high level summit for 10 years why we will need one now? If we survive without a reform, why we need a reform today? This where the question`s whispered on the diplomatic corridors of power.

In this important moment, Kazakhstan leadership decided to commit resources and interest in offering to OSCE the example of an efficient and active chairmanship, engaging the creativeness of European intellectual elite in an ample debate to renew the concept and vision of OSCE.

The appeal of president of Kazakhstan, Nursultan Nazarbayev, presented in Vienna to European elite was clear and un-equivocal: the reform of OSCE and enabling a new vision for the organization, could only result in a common effort of the progressive intellectual`s and leaders of Europe.

In this moment I have taken the decision to uphold the Kazakhstan Presidency to OSCE and to nurture an intellectual and academic response to the challenge presented by President Nazarbayev.

President Emil Constantinescu at Bucharest Conference on OSCE-24 February 2010

The initial discussion was concentrated with President of Romania (1996-2000), the fine and impressive intellectual Emil Constantinescu.

President Emil Constantinescu, with his ample European vision had embraced the idea of a coagulated Romanian and European response to OSCE reform challenge.

Together we have shaped the vision of two main ideas that must be emphasized in a Bucharest conference on OSCE: the support for a high level meeting of OSCE and the highlighting of the main topics for a future reform of OSCE.

With this discussion, the European elite response to OSCE challenge, mounted by the president of Kazakhstan had started to gather essence.

Soon afterwards President of Romania (1990-1996; 2000-2004) Ion Iliescu had accepted to attend and support a Bucharest conference on OSCE.

President Ion Iliescu at Bucharest Conference on OSCE-24 February 2010

With the presence of two presidents, that supervised the transformation of OSCE after the Cold War and had supported the last high level gathering of OSCE in Istanbul, the European reform project for OSCE had become a major conceptual work of ″renovatio″ (re-building).

Along the ambitious project, the presence of the economic community, in this reform debate had imposed as a necessity. OSCE needs a powerful economic impact, need an economic overhaul and also must become an economic center of attraction. Mr. Cezar Coraci had entrusted himself with the task of creating an OSCE economic agenda that would transform the organization in a motor for growth and development.

Concluding Bucharest Conference on OSCE-24 February 2010

The diplomatic community of Europe, under the leadership of Professor Dr. Mircea Constantinescu, Director of European Diplomatic Academy, had also created a draft for a human security dimension of OSCE.

A strong reform project, supported by all the speakers of Bucharest conference on OSCE included: the necessity of reforming the so called democracy promotion arm of OSCE, creating a true and honest democracy framework and offering a new peace and security concept for the Euro-Asian region.

Finally, with their impressive moral and political authority Presidents Emil Constantinescu and Ion Iliescu offered their support for a high level meeting of OSCE in Astana.

In the concluding coverage of the Bucharest conference on OSCE the main international press outlets considered that Astana High Level Conference of OSCE it is now a necessity.

The long trail of shadow and mistrust in Kazakhstan Presidency had being defeated and the intellectual and political support of European elite had clearly shined thru.

The President of Kazakhstan decision had played off; Europe had supported his ambitious vision, supported a High level conference in Astana, defeated the mistrust and misunderstanding and created an agenda for reform of OSCE. Kazakhstan president had obtained a full support in his plans to reform OSCE.

 

I must also emphasize that Bucharest Conference on OSCE had started a special relation between Romania and Kazakhstan.

Romania had never forgotten that Kazakhstan had the ambition to reform OSCE, to promote an agenda of security at Euro-Asia level and had trusted the Romanian elite to coagulate a European response to Kazakhstan initiative for a new OSCE.

The ideas and the reform plans conceptualized in Bucharest conference on OSCE had become the main issues on the table of the High level meeting in Astana in 1-2 December 2010.

The voices of Romanian and European elite had crossed the space and become the main back bone of the reform of OSCE.

The lesson of the successful European-Asian cooperation of Bucharest Conference on OSCE from 24 February 2010 remain vivid today : OSCE could retained his efficiency, could become one more time a pillar of security and could rediscover his legacy of promoting human rights and authentic democracy.

Romania had started a strategic relation in the benefit of European unity and stability and in forging ties with Asia via Kazakhstan.

This strategic and visionary relation continuous today and the journey for creating a new world of peace and security with the support of Romania and Kazakhstan is a never ending story.

Professor Dr. Anton Caragea MA, FINS, EDA

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Profesor Anton Caragea – Co-presedinte al Conferintei OSCE 2010 declara: OSCE nu poate fi inlocuit

March 13, 2010

Organizatia pentru Securitate si Cooperare in Europa , la rascruce  de prof. dr. Anton Caragea

Nascuta in atmosfera Razboiului Rece.

Inca de la nasterea sa OSCE a purtat marca atmosferei Razboiului Rece, ca o institutie al carui principal rol a fost mentinerea unei fragile unitati pe un continent divizat de Cortina de Fier si de competitia mondiala intre sistemul capitalist si cel comunist si intre aliantele  militare ale Vestului si Estului ( NATO si tratatul de la Varsovia ).

In acest climat, tensionat, OSCE si-a demonstrat utilitatea, intr-un mediu ce deseori amintea mai mult de un razboi deschis decat de cel rece , precum cel de la inceputul anilor `80 ,OSCE  a fost ultima insula fragila de dialog intre blocul estic, lansat in aventura din Afganistan si alianta vestica, implicata in  razboiul stelelor al lui Reagan si ce pareau a se indrepta catre un razboi nuclear.

OSCE si dialogul Vest – Est.                                       

Sesiuni ,precum cea de la Viena din noiembrie 1986, ce au ramas ca o parte integranta a istoriei razboiului rece si multi istorici apreciaza ca fara aceasta vitala linie de comunicare, dialog si intelegere lansata de OSCE,   lipsa de dialog ar  fi avut consecinte inimaginabile. Evitarea unui razboi nuclear si mentinerea deschisa a liniilor de comunicare, intre adversarii de pe continentul european, nu a fost singurul serviciu adus umanitatii de catre OSCE in aceea perioada . Nu trebuie sa uitam ca problema drepturilor omului, in blocul rasaritean, a fost ridicata in cadrul dezbaterilor de la Helsinki si in cadrul actiunilor  OSCE. Reformistii de la Praga sau Berlin au folosit pentru organizatiile si manifestele lor, ce solicitau respectarea drepturilor omului in cadrul blocului estic, exact documentele de la Helsinki si cele ale OSCE . In 1989 cand sistemul comunist s-a prabusit OSCE s-a trezit confruntat cu o noua situatie. O institutie a Razboiului Rece , construita pe o structura a dialogului intre adversari ireconciliabili era acum in cautarea unui nou rol.

OSCE si Charta de la Paris: lungul drum catre o noua Europa .

OSCE si a faurit acest nou rol si nou loc, in noua lume nascuta din colapsul comunismului . OSCE a devenit singurul spatiu comun de dialog , in momentul in care Comunitatea Economica Europeana se reconstruia , iar nasterea unei structuri politice europene era doar in faza de planseta.  Tratatul de la Varsovia se autodizolvase iar NATO era doar un vis distant sau chiar imposibil de atins si in orice caz departe de a deveni o structura de securitate la nivel european. Ei bine in acest context OSCE a ramas singul for general european care a preluat in agenda sa protectia drepturilor omului, imbunatatirea cooperarii intre fosti inamici, constructia democratica , monitorizarea alegerilor , crearea unui dialog si a unei detensionari intr-o Europa centrala si de est ce cunoasteau pasiunile nationalismului post comunist si in final fiind si o cale de dialog si cooperare cu Vestul continentului. Daca este sa oferim un sumar al agendei OSCE, la inceputul anilor `90, vom vedea ca in loc sa se dizolve, asa cum unii cerusera la inceputul anilor `90 , OSCE a preluat un rol de initiativa si activ in constructia unei noi Europe.

Dialogul cu Rusia, dialogul cu Tarile Baltice, lunga lista de initiative ale pacii in fosta Yugoslavie si Bosnia, echipele de constructie democratica ale OSCE, rolul organizatiei in pastrarea pacii si in dezangajarea din conflicte sunt inca vii in memoria noastra.

OSCE: un sfarsit lipsit de glorie ?

Din nefericire, dupa jumatatea anilor `90, relevanta organizatiei a inceput in mod gradual sa se diminueze. Rolul sau in promovarea securitatii militare si strategice pe continent a devenit treptat un obiectiv al Aliantei Nord-Atlantice , expansiunea graduala a NATO spre Est in 1999 , 2004 si 2009 a fost perceputa de multi ca suficienta pentru a asigura viitoarea securitate a continentului. In timp ce alte voci estice au vorbit de o crestere a tensiunii. Dupa 2001 conceptul global de securitate si alianta strategica s-a deplasat ,odata cu lansarea noului concept despre un asa zis razboi impotriva terorii. Aceasta a insemnat o concentrare a zonei de interes in Afganistan , Iraq si o concentrare pe Orientul Mijlociu , toate obiective cu care OSCE in acel moment nu era familiarizat si nici nu avea vointa politica de a se axa pe ele. Expansiunea Uniunii Europene , niciodata controversata precum cea a NATO, a fost un substitut pentru lucrul in cadrul OSCE pe problemele cooperarii economice . Toate acestea ii faceau pe cei mai optimisti comentatori sa considere un viitor in care Uniunea Europeana deenea actorul central pe contient , ceea ce facea ca OSCE sa ramana un factor important, dar privit cu mai putin entuziasm ca odinioara .

OSCE si crearea unui dialog Nord-Sud.

Chiar si in acest timp, de aparenta relevanta in reducere, OSCE nu a incetat sa ofere noi directii in politica internationala , diplomatie, si un exemplu de construire a unui cadru de cooperare cu tarile partenere.

Parteneriatele OSCE de promovare a democratiei , a rolului societatii civile si a prevenirii conflictelor si crearea de noi oportunitati pentru securitate si cooperare a devenit nu doar o metoda eficienta de a crea oprtunitati de cooperare OSCE si alte zone geografice dar si un exemplu de construire a unui cadru de colaborare. Din Japonia in Coreea de Sud si Australia ( cel mai nou membru) al formulei de colaborare si parteneriat, aceasta  si a demonstrat utilitatea in arii sensibile precum : politica , cooperare militara ,controlul armamentelor , securizarea frontierelor , activitati de preventie antiterorista , prevenirea conflictelor, reforma militara , politie si implementarea acordurilor internationale. Acesta zon de colaborare se extind pana la cooperare economica si de mediu si pana la dimensiunea umana ( de la combaterea traficului de fiinte umane , democratizare , educatie, monitorizarea alegerilor , drepturile omului si ale minoritatilor si libertatea presei. Actionand  in toate aceste zone importante  era normal ca OSCE sa devina tinta criticilor, dar privind din perspectiva lunga a istoriei nu putem sublinia indeajuns rolul pozitiv al OSCE. 

OSCE: o filosofie politica a posibilului

In fapt multe din acuzatiile aduse OSCE, cum ca nu ar fi suficient de hotarata sau de eficienta, sunt doar rezultatul unei decizii filosofice fundamentale a OSCE de a crea un mod de actiune echilibrat , si de a nu trasnforma problema drepturilor omului in drept de ingerinta sau procesele electorale monitorizate ca un mod de a face presiuni asupra unor state independente. Acest concept filosofic important este bazat de Acordurile de la Helsinki si pe Charta de la Paris ce statueaza decizia de a respecta suveranitatea si neamestecul in treburile interne ale statelor membre.  Astazi cand concepte precum: interventia preventiva , prevenirea conflictelor prin interventie armata si anumite practici ale managementului de criza si a reabilitarii post-conflict, sunt aspru criticate si luate in discutie, experienta OSCE si filosofia ei pot oferi solutii pentru o actiune responsabila , aceasta nu e slabiciune ci actiune cu responsabilitate.

In ultimi ani OSCE a fost confruntata cu noi provocari : lungul razboi din Afganistan si Irak , criza legata de procesul de pace palestinian , tensiunile din regiunea Caucazului , necesitatea constructiei unei comunitati mediteraniene , necesitatea de a oferii Rusiei asigurarile legitime de securitate si cooperarea in regiunea Marii Negre si solutionarea crizelor, precum Kosovo.Toate acestea necesita un raspuns diplomatic si conceptual bazat pe ceea ce anumiti experti internationali, uniti intr-o retea , printre care si subsemnatul, numesc un Nou Acord Helsinki. In aceasta actiune OSCE este chemat la un rol important. 

2010- Un an decisiv. Presedentia Kazahstanului.

Imi place sa numesc anul 2010 ca un an decisiv pentru Europa , nu in sensul ca Europa trebuie sa isi schimbe destinul in acest an sau ca trebuie sa schimbam continentul. Dar in ideea ca in acest an trebuie sa vedem un inceput al dezbaterii diplomatice si internationale care trebuie sa decida care e viitorul Europei ? Ce Europa dorim sa construim ? Aceasta dezbatere politica, culturala si economica trebuie sa inceapa in acest an si acest an trebuie sa marcheze recunoasterea nevoii de schimbare , necesitatea unei dezbateri conceptuale , filosofice , si necesitatea unui plan de actiune.     

Cei patru  T

In aceasta privinta este de salutat decizia Presedintelui Nazarbaev de a accentua aceasta dezbatere si de a centra OSCE in mijlocul actiunii de reforma si in mijlocul actiunii conceptuale de refacere a uneia din cea mai prestigioase institutii europeana. Acest inceput este bine definit de cei patru T : Traditie, Toleranta, Transparenta si Incredere,  enuntate de presedintele Nazarbaev sunt exact in spiritul actiunii OSCE. O actiune ce este bazata de Incredere , o incredere acumulata in 30 de ani de activitate.  Traditie deoarece trebuie sa construim pe trecut, nu impotriva acestuia, asa cum vor unii , nu distrugand istoria ci construind pe baza ei .

Toleranta, deoarece traim din nefericire intr-o lume a intolerantei in care diferit se scrie inca dusman si neincredere. Trasparenta, deoarece intr-o lume in care auzim despre conflicte si conspiratii numai transparenta poate fi baza increderii si a actiunii eficiente.

Un summit al sperantei.

OSCE nu poate actiona fara un consens si fara o noua filosofie ce poate fi oferita de un nou summit. La 11 ani de la ultimul summit , necesitatea pentru o astfel de intalnire se impune de la sine. Un nou summit nu va da doar un imbold puternic la adaptarea OSCE la provocarile moderne si amenintarile noi, dar la fel va creste increderea si respectul de care se bucura Organizatia insasi in cadrul propriilor popoare. Acest apel al presedintelui Nazarbaev, lansat la conferinta de la Viena, vine cu o analiza realista : nu trebuie sa lasam OSCE sa dispara sau sa se transforme intr-o  organizatie lipsita de relevanta: OSCE nu poate fi inlocuit. Stagnarea sau disparitia sa ar crea un vaccum in zona Euro-Atlantica, aprecia corect presedintele Nazarbaev.

Este de apreciat acest efort, lansat de Presedintia Kazahstan, in obtinerea unei renasteri a OSCE : ideea expansiunii actiunii OSCE catre Asia , impactul intolerantei si necesitatea de a oferii comunitatii islamice o voce suplimentara si o respectabilitate cu un accent pe Islamul ca religie a pacii si a tolerantei in acest climat tensionat.

OSCE nu poate fi inlocuit.

Aceasta agenda ambitioasa mai cuprinde : un nou summit , o dezbatere europeana asupra viitorului OSCE , constructia unui spatiu comun de securitate si cooperare intre Asia si Europa si initierea unui unei apropieri constructive realizate nu pe ton profesoral sau pe predici intre Nord si Sud. De altfel nu trebuie sa uitam ca OSCE are inca un rol de jucat pe continentul european , o activitate ce trebuie concentrata pe Balcaniide Vest , pe necesitatea dialogului si a sprijinului in zona Balcanilor cu accent pe ajutorarea economica a zonelor afectate de actuala criza precum Macedonia si Albania, care trebuie sa se bucure de rolul economic al OSCE  sau in zona Europei de Est in care OSCE are un rol de jucat in constructia democratica sau in ajutorul economic si de securitate . Sunt provocari enorme care stau inaintea OSCE in 2010 si in anii care vor urma . Kazahstanul a avut curajul de a actiona , puterea de a incerca si decizia de a lua actiuni practice si puterea de a cere Europei o lucida analiza a situatie actuale a OSCE si un raspuns la aceasta.

Da, Kazahstanul ar fi putut doar sa astepte sa treaca  365 de zile si Presedintia sa fie acordata unei alte tari si sa ii lase pe altii sa initieze aceasta dezbatere , dar Kazahstanul nu a ales calea usoara de iesire. Nu Kazahstanul a decis sa confrunte realitatea si sa propuna obiective ambitioase si pentru asta sa faca din 2010 un an decisiv, anul in care OSCE a inceput o noua pagina a istoriei sale.


Deciphering Barack Obama

February 9, 2009

President Barack Obama gets the worldDeciphering Obama

                       

Today, after three weeks from the presidential take over ceremony in United States every body is trying to decipher what will be the next policy of Washington under the President elect Barack Obama.

Even at a glimpse the international agenda left behind by President Bush is a difficult one: war in Iraq and Afghanistan, crisis in Pakistan, tension relation with Russia, frictions with Europe, problems in Africa , every one will see that the next president is going to have his hands full with this agenda.

But what are Baracks Obama one interests in this international agenda. What is making the man tick on international issues?

We have a lot of information on what the new presidents intentions are by his foreign policy interviews, articles, and speeches and already established interest points on his agenda.

 

A new image for U.S.

 

The new president is highly concerned with the drop of America’s popularity all around the world. This is a major issue the Obama wants to tackle by dismantling Guantanamo Bay Prison, by releasing the inmates that have being proven innocent and transferring to civil courts in US the cases already build by US prosecution , instead on judging the offenders on military courts as Bush administration wanted to do. Also the new administration will ban the Executive Orders of President Bush that allowed US troops to attack any country and any position around the world suspected of helping, financing, training or supporting terrorist activities.

Also, Obama administration announced very clearly that will renounced at Bush doctrine of preempting strike and going alone doctrine that give to US the right to  act without his allies as in Iraq offensive case.

The preemptive strike will not be completely abolished; by will require under the new administration the approval of NATO members and key allies before being applied.

 

U.S. relation with Europe.

 

Relation with Europe, badly damage after the US invasion of Iraq is also high on President elect Obama`s agenda. US will be once more a strong supporter of the European Union construction and enlargement. Barack Obama is ready to restore to UE the role of consultant and key decision maker in Europe and Africa region. In Berlin speech Obama offered to E.U. a partnership in expansion of democratic values and free market economy in Africa, Middle East and Eastern Europe. While G. Bush favored the military expansion in Eastern Europe ( by promoting Baltic States in NATO, supporting Ukraine and Georgia bid to NATO and building the missile Shield in Poland  ) the  new president is preferring using E.U. membership option and E.U. cooperation plans to promote softer relation in Eastern Europe.   Also on Europe chapter president elect Barack Obama is favoring a detente in relation with Russia: suspending military aid to Georgia, stopping NATO presence on the Black Sea , redrawing support for Ukraine and Georgia bid to join NATO and renouncing at the plans to build the Missile Shield in Eastern Europe every thing announced a new era of Russia-US relationship .

 

Obama and the U.S. military complex.

 

 Is Barack Obama a pacifist? Not a bit, he is a realist on the line of Woodrow Wilson theory of a concert of free nation that will prevail against any threats (This theory marked the US involvement in First World War and in building the League of Nations- the predecessor of today United Nation). 

Obama is determined to increase the military budget (already doubled in size from the Clinton era) by 25% in his first term in office. He already advocated this increase by saying that US are involved in two major military actions and needs to increase and modernize his military apparatus. The retreat from Iraq will only include military combat troops, technicians, private contractors, private army (as Black water troops and US air strike capability will be left in place to support the Iraqi government). On Iran agenda all thou that Barack Obama is not an advocate of ground invasion (as J. McCain was) his stands on Iran will still be a harsh one. A nuclear Iran is unacceptable, he pointed out. As a paradox: the redrew from Iraq will offer Obama the free hand to deal with Iran, even by air strikes without fearing on repercussions to US troops on the ground. So a coalition against Iran is still one the president agenda and with new relations with Russia and E.U he could be even better position then G. Bush to make strong pressure on Teheran. Also the decision to redraw from Iraq will be a good one for Afghanistan where lack of troops and financial aid make the country a safe haven for Al Qaeda and Taliban’s.  

 

Obama and China.

 

If the new US president is keen on cooperating with Europe, ease tensions with Russia; redraw from Iraq then why such a military build up is still necessary?

Obama`s see the danger for the US coming from China. Every line of foreign policy speech is a reflection of his willingness for a stronger attitude towards China. Only in the last 6 month he declared that: US market is threatened by the import from China, by the trade deficit with China, by piracy on electronic products from China. In his best seller: The Audacity of hope, Barack Obama states clearly that:  “In the XXI century the major challenge from military and economic point of view to US is from China…. and for this we have to be prepared” (p.313).

In recent weeks after the election also declared that is inadmissible that U.S. currency is tied to China and that US deficit is supported by Chinese loans.

This is not mean that Obama is determined to have a stand off with China but is determine not to allow China to challenge US supremacy in Asia-Pacific region.

 

New down.

 

At the new down of Barack Obama administration the president seems decided to change the world: a new military doctrine, a shift in focus to Asia-Pacific region, controls over Middle East, better relations with Russia an E.U. and a new image for United States in the world. Bush and Obama could not be more different on foreign policy aspects. What will mean Obama legacy to the world? Let’s wait and see. Change has definitely come to White House.               

 

                      

Professor Anton Caragea PhD, M.A., FINS.