• The Finnish Commitee For European Security

    Suomen Toimikunta Euroopan Turvallisuuden Edistämiseksi



The Finnish Committee for European Security (STETE) and its Finnish NGO partners organized an international NGO-based forum in Helsinki. The Forum was connected to the 16th OSCE Ministerial Council hosted by the Finnish OSCE Chairmanship. The OSCE Civil Society Forum concentrated on the OSCE’s human dimension issues and gave the participating civil society actors a possibility to carry their recommendations for the high-level discussions of the Ministerial Council.

In the Opening Plenary high-level speakers discussed the current human dimension issues in the OSCE region. The Working Group Sessions went deeper into these questions concentrating on the specific themes of human rights, human trafficking, and civil society & conflict resolution. The Closing Plenary reflected the possibilities and challenges of the OSCE’s future. The Civil Society Forum was directed to all civil society representatives in the OSCE area. The conference language was English.

Due to the fire in Ostrobotnia the OSCE Civil Society Forum was relocated to two different places. On Tuesday 2.12. the conference was held at Paasitorni and Wednesday 3.12. at Marina Congress Center.

  • The conference programme in pdf (detailed with some of the presentations below)
  • Here are the final recommendation for I Human Traffcing, II Human Rights, and III Civil Society, Conflict Prevention and Resolution

OSCE Civil Society Forum 2.–3.12.2008
in view of the OSCE Ministerial Council hosted by the Finnish OSCE Chairmanship 4.–5.12.2008
in Helsinki, Finland
Tuesday 2 December 2008, Paasitorni (Paasivuorenkatu 5 A)14.00–16.00 Opening plenary: Human dimension in the OSCE region

Moderator: Elisabeth Rehn (Minister)Panelists:
Teija Tiilikainen (State Secretary (Political), Ministry for Foreign Affairs, Representative of the OSCE Chairmanship)
Eva Biaudet (OSCE Special Representative on Combating Trafficking in Human Beings)
Oleg Kozlovsky (Human Rights Award 2008 Winner, Coordinator of Oborona)16.00–16.15 Coffee break

16.15–18.00 Introductions to working group topics

Moderator: Heidi Hautala (Member of the Finnish Parliament)
Oksana Chelyseva (The Russian-Chechen Friendship Society)
Olof Kleberg (OSCE NGO-Network Sweden)
Dzmitry Markusheuski (Belarusian Helsinki Committee)
Muatar Khaydarova (Director, ICNL/LLC Affiliate office in Tajikistan. Board Chairwoman, NGO ”Society and Law”)

18.00 Reception

Wednesday 3 December 2008, Marina Congress Center (Katajannokanlaituri 6)

8.30–9.00 Breakfast

9.00–12.00 Parallel working groups



  • Victims’ rights
  • Identification, compensation and assistance to trafficked persons
  • International cooperation

Moderator and rapporteur: Johanna Suurpää (Ombudsman for minorities)
Venla Roth (Researcher, Faculty of Law, University of Helsinki)
Irine Machurishvili (PR Manager, Human Rights Center HRIDC)
Olga Sadovskaya (The vice-chairman of Interregional Non-governmental Organization ”committee Against Torture”)



  • Minority rights, tolerance and non-discrimination, fight against hate crimes
  • Human rights defenders (activists, critical journalists, opposition politicians)

Moderator: Kari Kahiluoto (Ambassador for Human Rights and Democracy, MFA of Finland)
Pekka Haavisto (MP, Chair of the Advisory Board on Romani Affairs in Finland)
Alexey Kozlov (Director of Foundation ”For social and environmental justice” and spokesperson of GROZA (Green Alternative)) – Rapporteur of the working group
Isra Lehtinen (Chair of Islam Information and Dialogue)


Caucasus and Central Asia in perspective


  • Potential, role and responsibilities of civil society actors in conflict               prevention and resolution
  • Women’s role in conflict prevention and resolution

Moderator and rapporteur: Meeri-Maria Jaarva (Reporting Officer, EUMM Georgia)
Rachel Bernu (Deputy Director of Kurdish Human Rights Project)
Margarita Akhvlediani (Journalist, Georgia)

12.00–13.00 Lunch

13.00–14.15 Conclusions of the working group discussions, finalizing of the recommendations

14.15–16.00 Closing panel discussion: Future of the OSCE

Moderator: Krista Kiuru (MP, Chair of STETE)
Knut Vollebaek (OSCE High Commissioner on National Minorities)
Kari Kahiluoto (Ambassador for Human Rights and Democracy, MFA of Finland)
Kimmo Kiljunen (OSCE Special Envoy on election-related issues)