CSCE/OSCE participating States

Pursuant to paragraph 54 of the Final Recommendations of the Helsinki Consultations (FRHC), all European States, the United States and Canada were entitled to take part in the Conference on Security and Cooperation in Europe (CSCE). In 1992, after the dissolution of the USSR, the CSCE Committee of Senior Officials also stated that all the former Soviet republics were to be admitted to the CSCE.

Until 1990, the CSCE had 35 participating States: Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Canada, Cyprus, Czechoslovakia, Denmark, Finland, France, the Federal Republic of Germany (FRG), the German Democratic Republic (GDR), Greece, the Holy See, Hungary, Iceland, Ireland, Italy, Liechtenstein, Luxembourg, Malta, Monaco, the Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Romania, San Marino, the Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia (SFRY), Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Turkey, the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics (USSR), the United Kingdom and the United States of America.

Initially, 33 European States were involved in the process (every State at the time except Albania and Andorra), together with the two non-European States that were members of the Atlantic Alliance (the United States and Canada). Although most of the countries belonged to a military alliance (NATO or the Warsaw Pact), pursuant to paragraph 65 of the FRHC, all the States participating in the Conference did so as sovereign and independent States and in conditions of full equality. Thus the CSCE, taking place outside military alliances, became the framework for broader multilateral negotiations on security during the Cold War period, separately from the bilateral negotiations between the major powers and the bloc-to-bloc negotiations between military alliances. The Conference allowed the neutral and non-aligned countries to take part on an equal footing in the negotiations, in which they often performed a constructive role as moderators and coordinators.

The composition of the CSCE did not change until the beginning of its second stage, at the end of the Cold War. The number of participating States briefly dropped to 34 when Germany was reunified on 3 October 1990. Albania joined the CSCE in June 1991 as the 35th participating State. Russia succeeded the USSR after the latter’s dissolution. The Committee of Senior Officials approved the replacement on 8 January 1992. On the same date, it recommended to the Ministerial Council that it consider allowing all the former Soviet republics to become full members of the CSCE. After the disintegration of three federations of States (the USSR, the Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia and Czechoslovakia), the three Baltic States (Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania) were admitted in September 1991, ten other former Soviet republics (Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Moldova, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, Ukraine and Uzbekistan) in January 1992, followed by Georgia in March; also in March 1992, Slovenia and Croatia, followed by Bosnia-Herzegovina in April; in January 1993, the Czech Republic and Slovakia and, in October 1995, the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia. Andorra was finally admitted as a sovereign State in April 1996. Serbia and Montenegro were admitted in November 2000. In June 2006, following the referendum of 21 May and the subsequent independence of Montenegro, the number of participating States increased to 56.

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