Message from the Ambassador of Canada to the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe

Ambassador Natasha Cayer

Natasha Cayer,
Ambassador of Canada to the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe

Welcome to Canada’s delegation to the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE), the world’s largest regional security arrangement created under Chapter VIII of the UN Charter. It is a great privilege to represent Canada, alongside 56 other OSCE participating States, in a forum whose mandate is to enhance the security of all peoples in the OSCE region using a comprehensive approach to peace, security, prosperity, democracy and human rights.

From its very first inception as the Conference on Security and Co-operation in Europe (CSCE) in 1975, Canada has been one of the key participants in the development of the Organisation, and remains today its 6th largest contributor. During the Cold War, the CSCE became a central forum for regional peace and stability by linking Eastern and Western Europe, North America and the USSR, through dialogue on security cooperation. Its transformation into the OSCE in the early 1990’s brought about important joint commitments on democracy and human rights, and established a framework for more methodical work on military confidence-building and conventional arms control. At that time, Canada was also very involved in the creation of three key autonomous institutions of the OSCE: the Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights (ODIHR), the High Commissioner on National Minorities (HCNM), and the Representative on Freedom of the Media (RFoM). The work of these institutions has been critical to helping OSCE participating States find means to implement their commitments to uphold the principles enshrined in the Helsinki Final Act and in decisions taken since.

Today, the OSCE continues to play a central role in promoting Canadian values such as democracy, human rights, the rule of law, good governance, anti-corruption and strength through diversity in the Euro-Atlantic and Eurasian regions. By pursuing its unparalleled comprehensive approach to security on three dimensions (politico-military, economic and environmental, human), the OSCE enables conflict prevention and capacity building, objectives which are furthered by the OSCE’s network of field missions and the Parliamentary Assembly of the OSCE.

I am truly honoured to work in this unique forum to help advance Canada’s international priorities, including supporting fragile states, national minorities, women’s role in peace and security, conflict prevention and post-conflict rehabilitation, border security, combating illicit traffickings and conventional arms control.

The OSCE is very important to Canada, and our delegation will continue to be a constructive and active partner in its efforts to advance comprehensive security “from Vancouver to Vladivostok.”

Natasha Cayer,
Ambassador of Canada to the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe