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Presentation of the Security and Human Rights Journal – Special Issue on OSCE Mediation

23 October 2017


The Security and Human Rights Journal, published by the acclaimed imprint Brill/Nijhoff and managed under the auspices of the Netherlands Helsinki Committee (NHC), is proud to present its latest special edition on OSCE Mediation under the title of “Unravelling Complexities in OSCE Mediation.”

The special edition is an attempt to diffuse oversimplified narratives by unravelling the complexities involved in the mediation work of the OSCE. By unpacking these overgeneralised narratives, the publication takes a critical look at key factors that shape the mediation work of the OSCE: its institutional set-up as far as the conflict resolution mechanisms and relevant procedures are concerned; the geopolitical interests and tensions of participating States engaged in mediation processes; as well as specific process design related technicalities.

With this intention in mind, the publication brings together highly relevant perspectives of 16 different authors, ranging from practitioners to policy makers and academics, who provide a good mix of practical and theoretical insights into the complex world of OSCE mediation. The special edition gives space for diverse views on the OSCE led or supported peace processes as well as the nature of relevant protracted conflicts, covering different angles, including those of mediators, third parties and conflict parties.

The conclusions of the different authors are aimed at stimulating debate and at providing concrete recommendations for OSCE practitioners and policy makers. Anna Hess Sargsyan, the guest editor-in-chief of this special edition of the Journal is a mediation support expert and senior program officer at the Mediation Support Team at the Centre for Security Studies at the ETH Zurich.

Influencing the policy discourse and bridging the gap between academics and policy makers has been one of the main aims of the Journal for over 25 years. In order to increase the Journal’s impact and readership, this year a new online platform was launched that offers readers a variety of different publications, including a selection of open-access Journal articles as well as regular, short articles providing timely analysis, opinion and policy recommendations. The new website, called the “Security and Human Rights Monitor”, thus fills a niche as it is the only free publication that offers a systematic analysis of OSCE-related topics from a variety of perspectives. The creation of this new website was made possible through the generous financial support of the governments of Austria, Germany, Liechtenstein and the Netherlands.

On October the 23rd, the Austrian OSCE Chairmanship and the OSCE Secretariat organise a Conflict Cycle Seminar ´From Preventive Diplomacy to Sustainable Peace: Strengthening the OSCE’s Toolbox´. The seminar, involving several guest speakers and external experts, aims to take stock of the OSCE’s conflict cycle toolbox, while putting the OSCE’s efforts to prevent conflict and build sustainable peace in a broader multilateral context. As part of this seminar, a side-event is organised. During the event, the Security and Human Rights special issue on mediation will be launched. Guest editor-in-chief Anna Hess Sargsyan will introduce the rationale behind the special edition and will share key findings with the OSCE delegations. In addition, the newly relaunched ‘Security and Human Rights Monitor’, its relevance and importance, will be discussed as well.

Interested OSCE delegations and all those interested are invited to have a look at the new website: and to provide any feedback they may have. The overall aim is to increase awareness of the new online platform and to secure additional funding in order to ensure its long-term sustainability.