Vienna Review Meeting of the CSCE - Phase III and IVFriday, January 01, 1988
The main activity of the Vienna Meeting throughout Phases III and IV was the presentation and negotiation of proposals for inclu sion in the concluding document of the meeting. The number (more than 160), complexity and controversial nature of many of these proposals led to the extension of the Vienna Meeting well beyond its target closing date of July 31. These factors, along with other elements such as continuing major shortcomings in the implementa tion of existing commitments, are largely responsible for the continuation of the Vienna Meeting into 1988. The slow pace of progress already evident in Phase II continued through the next phase. Each side defended its own proposals but showed little disposition to begin the process of compromise which could lead to the conclusion of the meeting. The main procedural development during this phase was the appointment of coordinators from the neutral and non-aligned states to guide the work of the drafting groups. This development provided greater order and structure for the proceedings but did little to advance the drafting work or to induce compromises. Other major developments during this phase were the introduction of the long-awaited Western proposal on military security and the tabling of a comprehensive compromise proposed in Basket III by two neutral delegations, Austria and Switzerland. Both proposals were put forth at the very end of the phase and thus did not have much impact until the next phase. The Western (NATO) proposal on military security questions was designed as a response to the Eastern proposal which envisioned two main objectives: another round of negotiations on confidence and security-building measures (CSBMs) to build upon the successful Stockholm meeting and the initiation of negotiations on conventional disarmament, both within the same CSCE forum. The Western response to this proposal was delayed primarily because of United States and French differences over the connection between the conventional arms negotiations and the CSCE process, the French arguing that the negotiations should be an integral part of the process and the U.S. insisting that they be independent. The issue was resolved by agreement that the negotiations would be "within the framework of the CSCE," but should remain autonomous.
Human rights within states are crucial to security among states. Prioritizing respect for human rights and fundamental freedoms, defending the principles of liberty, and encouraging tolerance within societies must be at the forefront of America's foreign policy agenda. Peace, security, and prosperity cannot be sustained if national governments repress their citizens, stifle their media, or imprison members of the political opposition. Authoritarian regimes become increasingly unstable as citizens chafe under the bonds of persecution and violence, and pose a danger not only to their citizens, but also to neighboring nations. The Helsinki Commission strives to ensure that the protection of human rights and defense of democratic values are central to U.S. foreign policy; that they are applied consistently in U.S. relations with other countries; that violations of Helsinki provisions are given full consideration in U.S. policymaking; and that the United States holds those who repress their citizens accountable for their actions. This includes battling corruption; protecting the fundamental freedoms of all people, especially those who historically have been persecuted and marginalized; promoting the sustainable management of resources; and balancing national security interests with respect for human rights to achieve long-term positive outcomes rather than short-term gains.
Spain has been an OSCE participating State since June 25, 1973 and chaired the OSCE in 2007.
Spain is a parliamentary monarchy located between France and Portugal and is a NATO, E.U., and Council of Europe member. Its economy is highly service-oriented, although it does have a substantial manufacturing base.
Of its population of 48 million, 74 percent speak Spanish, 17 percent Catalan, 7 percent Galician, and 2 percent Basque. Approximately 79 percent of the population is Christian, and 19 percent is unaffiliated. There are almost a million Muslims living in Spain, making up 2.1 percent of the population, along with 60,000 Jews, accounting for 0.1 percent of the population.
The Spanish Foreign Minister appeared at a Commission hearing in 2007, and Spain has been the site of several OSCE and OSCE PA meetings over the years. From 1980 to 1983, Spain hosted the second follow-up meeting of the Helsinki Process, critical to the creation of the OSCE. Spain was also the location of some of the OSCE’s first meetings on anti-Semitism and discrimination against Muslims.
In 2002, the Commission held a hearing on post-9/11 OSCE efforts to thwart terrorist financing, which included the Spanish Ambassador to the United States as a representative of the European Union.
Staff Contact: Mischa Thompson, senior policy advisor