The 57 foreign ministers of the Ministerial Council of the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE) are to meet in Hamburg from December 8-9, 2016 under the theme “Renewing dialogue, re-establishing trust and restoring trust”.
Hamburg’s cosmopolitanism, tolerance and international networking
Germany has the OSCE chairmanship this year. Thus, Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier selected Hamburg as the venue based on its “cosmopolitanism, tolerance and international networking and Hanseatic public spirit” which for centuries has fostered a culture of active co-determination – values for which the 2016 German chairmanship of OSCE stands. Speaking in late November, Steinmeier, said: “We wish to build bridges, boost dialogue and promote greater inclusion of civil society in the OSCE’s discussion and decision-making processes.”
State guests with large entourages
The first work groups will meet from December 5 to prepare the foreign ministers’ talks. Most state guests will be arriving on December 6 including John Kerry, U.S. Secretary of State, Sergei Lawrow, Russia’s Foreign Minister, Jean-Marc Ayrault, France’s Minister of Foreign Affairs, as well as 1,300 diplomats, 1,700 technicians and huge security details. Most OSCE Ministerial Council Meetings will be held in Hamburg’s fairgrounds. A working dinner is to be held in the Great Hall of Hamburg’s Town Hall on December 8. Around 10,000 police officers including 3,500 from Hamburg and 6,500 from other German states will secure the venues.
Hamburg to host G20 summit in July 2017
Hamburg will also host the G20 summit of the heads of state and government of the world’s 20 major industrial nations and emerging economies from July 7-8, 2017. Germany takes over the rotating presidency in 2017. Chancellor Angela Merkel proposed Hamburg as the venue.