Following the success of the first regional civil society conference in Belgrade at the end of February, the second of four workshops within the framework of the Swiss OSCE Chairmanship is taking place in Vienna from 7-9 April 2014. Under the banner of "Implementing commitments to improve people's lives", around 50 participants from North America, Central and Western Europe (including Moldova, Belarus, Russia and Ukraine) will take part in discussions on the following topics: prevention of torture, protection of privacy and non-discrimination. The workshop is being organised by the Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights and the Civic Solidarity Platform, a network of over 50 NGOs from across the OSCE participating States. Two further workshops, in Tbilisi and Dushanbe, are planned for 2014.
The four regional workshops will formulate recommendations for the OSCE participating States and institutions. These recommendations will be addressed to the OSCE Chairperson-in-Office and President of the Swiss Confederation, Mr Didier Burkhalter, at the end of the civil society conference, which will precede the Ministerial Council meeting at the beginning of December 2014 in Basel. Enhanced and systematic involvement of civil society in the work of the OSCE is one of the priorities of the Swiss Chairmanship in 2014.