Astana declaration adopted at OSCE Summit charts way forward

2 December 2010 - The first OSCE Summit in 11 years concluded today with Kazakhstan's President Nursultan Nazarbayev welcoming the work of Heads of State and Government from the 56 OSCE participating States, saying their adoption of the Astana Commemorative Declaration reconfirmed the Organization's comprehensive approach to security based on trust and transparency.

"We have reconfirmed our support to the comprehensive approach to security based on trust and transparency in the politico-military field, on rational economic and environmental policy and on the full-fledged observation of human rights, basic freedoms and the rule of law," he said. "We intend to raise the level and quality of security and understanding between our states and peoples."

Nazarbayev, whose country holds the 2010 OSCE Chairmanship, described the  two-day Summit as "an historic event for the entire OSCE community" that had been characterized by "the spirit of Astana".

"We realize that the way to a true Euro-Atlantic and Eurasian community with united and indivisible security will be long and thorny," he said, adding that by implementing the commitments made in Astana, participating States would prove the vitality of the Organization.

Dalia Grybauskaite, the President of Lithuania, which will hold 2011 OSCE Chairmanship, discussed the overall purpose of the Organization in her speech at today's plenary session: "Our goal in the OSCE is clear - to build a true democratic security community without dividing lines, where all the commitments are implemented, the use of force is unthinkable and human rights and fundamental freedoms are fully respected."

The leaders at the Summit adopted the "Astana Commemorative Declaration: Towards a Security Community" that reaffirmed their commitment to OSCE principles.

"While we have made much progress, we also acknowledge that more must be done to ensure full respect for, and implementation of, these core principles and commitments that we have undertaken in the politico-military dimension, the economic and environmental dimension, and the human dimension, notably in the areas of human rights and fundamental freedoms," the declaration said.

"The security of each participating State is inseparably linked to that of all others. Each participating State has an equal right to security. We reaffirm the inherent right of each and every participating State to be free or choose or change its security arrangements, including treaties of alliance, as they evolve. Each State also has the right to neutrality. Each participating State will respect the rights of all others in these regards. They will not strengthen their security at the expense of the security of other States."

"Increased efforts should be made to resolve existing conflicts in the OSCE area in a peaceful and negotiated manner, within agreed formats, fully respecting the norms and principles of international law enshrined in the United Nations Charter, as well as the Helsinki Final Act. New crises must be prevented."

"We underscore the need to contribute effectively, based on the capacity and national interest of each participating State, to collective international efforts to promote a stable, independent, prosperous and democratic Afghanistan."

The declaration calls for an action plan to be developed under the leadership of future chairmanships.

The Astana Summit brought together Heads of State and Government and other top officials from the 56 OSCE participating States and 12 Partners for Co-operation, as well as from other international and regional organizations. The Summit was the OSCE's first since the Istanbul Summit in 1999.