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Astana commemorative Declaration towards a security community

1. We, the Heads of State or Government of the 56 participating States of the OSCE,

have assembled in Astana, eleven years after the last OSCE Summit in Istanbul, to recommit

ourselves to the vision of a free, democratic, common and indivisible Euro-Atlantic and

Eurasian security community stretching from Vancouver to Vladivostok, rooted in agreed

principles, shared commitments and common goals. As we mark the 35th anniversary of the

Helsinki Final Act and the 20th anniversary of the Charter of Paris for a New Europe, we

reaffirm the relevance of, and our commitment to, the principles on which this Organization

is based. 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.

2. We reaffirm our full adherence to the Charter of the United Nations and to all OSCE

norms, principles and commitments, starting from the Helsinki Final Act, the Charter of

Paris, the Charter for European Security and all other OSCE documents to which we have

agreed, and our responsibility to implement them fully and in good faith. We reiterate our

commitment to the concept, initiated in the Final Act, of comprehensive, co-operative, equal

and indivisible security, which relates the maintenance of peace to the respect for human

rights and fundamental freedoms, and links economic and environmental co-operation with

peaceful inter-State relations.

3. 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 to 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. Within the OSCE no

State, group of States or organization can have any pre-eminent responsibility for maintaining

peace and stability in the OSCE area or can consider any part of the OSCE area as its sphere

of influence. We will maintain only those military capabilities that are commensurate with

our legitimate individual or collective security needs, taking into account obligations under

international law, as well as the legitimate security concerns of other States. We further

reaffirm that all OSCE principles and commitments, without exception, apply equally to each

participating State, and we emphasize that we are accountable to our citizens and responsible

to each other for their full implementation. We regard these commitments as our common

achievement, and therefore consider them to be matters of immediate and legitimate concern

to all participating States.

4. These norms, principles and commitments have enabled us to make progress in

putting old confrontations behind us and in moving us closer to democracy, peace and unity

throughout the OSCE area. They must continue to guide us in the 21st century as we work

together to make the ambitious vision of Helsinki and Paris a reality for all our peoples.

These and all other OSCE documents establish clear standards for the participating States in

their treatment of each other and of all individuals within their territories. Resolved to build

further upon this strong foundation, we reaffirm our commitment to strengthen security, trust

and good-neighbourly relations among our States and peoples. In this respect we are

convinced that the role of the OSCE remains crucial, and should be further enhanced. We

will further work towards strengthening the OSCE’s effectiveness and efficiency.

5. We recognize that the OSCE, as the most inclusive and comprehensive regional

security organization in the Euro-Atlantic and Eurasian area, continues to provide a unique

forum, operating on the basis of consensus and the sovereign equality of States, for

promoting open dialogue, preventing and settling conflicts, building mutual understanding

and fostering co-operation. We stress the importance of the work carried out by the OSCE

Secretariat, High Commissioner on National Minorities, Office for Democratic Institutions

and Human Rights and Representative on Freedom of the Media, as well as the OSCE field

operations, in accordance with their respective mandates, in assisting participating States with

implementing their OSCE commitments. We are determined to intensify co-operation with

the OSCE Parliamentary Assembly, and encourage its efforts to promote security,

democracy, and prosperity throughout the OSCE area and within participating States and to

increase confidence among participating States. We also acknowledge the Organization’s

significant role in establishing effective confidence- and security-building measures. We

reaffirm our commitment to their full implementation and our determination to ensure that

they continue to make a substantial contribution to our common and indivisible security.

6. The OSCE’s comprehensive and co-operative approach to security, which addresses

the human, economic and environmental, political and military dimensions of security as an

integral whole, remains indispensable. Convinced that the inherent dignity of the individual is

at the core of comprehensive security, we reiterate that human rights and fundamental

freedoms are inalienable, and that their protection and promotion is our first responsibility.

We reaffirm categorically and irrevocably that the commitments undertaken in the field of the

human dimension are matters of direct and legitimate concern to all participating States and

do not belong exclusively to the internal affairs of the State concerned. We value the

important role played by civil society and free media in helping us to ensure full respect for

human rights, fundamental freedoms, democracy, including free and fair elections, and the

rule of law.

7. Serious threats and challenges remain. Mistrust and divergent security perceptions

must be overcome. Our commitments in the politico-military, economic and environmental,

and human dimensions need to be fully implemented. Respect for human rights, fundamental

freedoms, democracy and the rule of law must be safeguarded and strengthened. Greater

efforts must be made to promote freedom of religion or belief and to combat intolerance and

discrimination. Mutually beneficial co-operation aimed at addressing the impact on our

region’s security of economic and environmental challenges must be further developed. Our

energy security dialogue, including on agreed principles of our co-operation, must be

enhanced. 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 pledge to refrain from the threat or use

of force in any manner inconsistent with the purposes and principles of the Charter of the

United Nations or with the ten Principles of the Helsinki Final Act.

8. Conventional arms control and confidence- and security-building regimes remain

major instruments for ensuring military stability, predictability and transparency, and should

be revitalized, updated and modernized. We value the work of the Forum for Security Cooperation,

and look forward to the updating of the Vienna Document 1999. We value the

CFE Treaty’s contribution to the creation of a stable and predictable environment for all

OSCE participating States. We note that the CFE Treaty is not being implemented to its full

capacity and the Agreement on Adaptation of the CFE Treaty (ACFE) has not entered into

force. Recognizing intensified efforts to overcome the current impasse, we express our

support for the ongoing consultations aiming at opening the way for negotiations in 2011.

9. At the same time, in today’s complex and inter-connected world, we must achieve

greater unity of purpose and action in facing emerging transnational threats, such as

terrorism, organized crime, illegal migration, proliferation of weapons of mass destruction,

cyber threats and the illicit trafficking in small arms and light weapons, drugs and human

beings. Such threats can originate within or outside our region.

10. We recognize that the security of the OSCE area is inextricably linked to that of

adjacent areas, notably in the Mediterranean and in Asia. We must therefore enhance the

level of our interaction with our Partners for Co-operation. In particular, 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.

11. We welcome initiatives aimed at strengthening European security. Our security

dialogue, enhanced by the Corfu Process, has helped to sharpen our focus on these and other

challenges we face in all three dimensions. The time has now come to act, and we must

define concrete and tangible goals in addressing these challenges. We are determined to work

together to fully realize the vision of a comprehensive, co-operative and indivisible security

community throughout our shared OSCE area. This security community should be aimed at

meeting the challenges of the 21st century and based on our full adherence to common OSCE

norms, principles and commitments across all three dimensions. It should unite all OSCE

participating States across the Euro-Atlantic and Eurasian region, free of dividing lines,

conflicts, spheres of influence and zones with different levels of security. We will work to

ensure that co-operation among our States, and among the relevant organizations and

institutions of which they are members, will be guided by the principles of equality,

partnership co-operation, inclusiveness and transparency. Drawing strength from our

diversity, we resolve to achieve this overarching goal through sustained determination and

common effort, acting within the OSCE and in other formats.

12. To this end, we task the incoming Chairmanship-in-Office with organizing a followup

process within existing formats, taking into consideration ideas and proposals put forward

by the participating States, including in the framework of the Corfu Process and in the

preparation of the Astana Summit, and pledge to do all we can to assist the incoming

Chairmanships- in-Office in developing a concrete action plan based on the work done by the

Kazakhstan Chairmanship. Progress achieved will be reviewed at the next OSCE Ministerial

Council meeting in Vilnius on 6 to 7 December 2011.

13. We express our deep gratitude to Kazakhstan for hosting our meeting, and for the

energy and vitality the country has brought to the challenging task of chairing the OSCE in

2010. We welcome Lithuania’s Chairmanship of the Organization in 2011, Ireland’s in 2012

and Ukraine’s in 2013.

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