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Today, 14 January 2021, Ann Linde inaugurated the Swedish OSCE Chairpersonship 2021 with a speech to the Permanent Council in Vienna. During the speech, Linde emphasized the importance of cooperation and that the strength of the organization is determined by its member states. At the same time, there is a growing need to seek common solutions to our shared problems.

Furthermore, Linde highlighted the need to develop a security system that extends beyond traditional security and which is instead based on inclusion. The security agenda must be multi-dimensional and consider political and economic security, human rights and democracy. An overall security arrangement is only possible through inclusion.

Linde mentioned the importance of the Women, Peace and Security agenda and Resolution 1325 while noting that peace requires inclusive processes. Gender equality must be addressed in all aspects. For example, as Chair, Sweden will focus on economic development as a necessary step to achieve equal rights for women. This development is crucial for a viable society.

An important aspect for the OSCE is the continuing inclusion and engagement with civil society. Civil society and civil society organizations are important in implementing the OSCE’s commitments as they provide insight into the current situation. They are also crucial for enabling change within the OSCE.

The speech, in its entirety, is available on YouTube.

A summary of the speech is available through the OSCE.

Operation 1325 welcomed Sweden’s commitments to a comprehensive security order and inclusive peace processes. During the fall of 2020, Operation 1325 participated in meetings alongside other civil society organizations to highlight particularly important areas of work during the Swedish Chairpersonship. These include a focus on national action plans, increased participation of women, and the participation of civil society organizations.

Operation 1325 is also part of the Civil Solidarity Platforms gender equality working group and has produced recommendations for the Chairpersonship within this constellation. The recommendations highlight the need to protect civil society, the media and to increase the implementation of OSCE commitments. Particularly important is the demand to enable women’s significant participation in mediation, negotiations and decision-making at all levels. Link to more information about CSP and their work can be found HERE.