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.
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)
16.15–18.00 Introductions to working group topics
Moderator: Heidi Hautala (Member of the Finnish Parliament)
Wednesday 3 December 2008, Marina Congress Center (Katajannokanlaituri 6)
9.00–12.00 Parallel working groups
I Human trafficking
Moderator and rapporteur: Johanna Suurpää (Ombudsman for minorities)
II Human rights
Kari Kahiluoto (Ambassador for Human Rights and Democracy, MFA of Finland)
III Civil society & conflict resolution
Moderator and rapporteur: Meeri-Maria Jaarva (Reporting Officer, EUMM Georgia)
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)