The role of international organisations in making peace

Alexander Hug, Principal Deputy Chief Monitor of the OSCE Special Monitoring Mission to Ukraine
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Blavatnik School of Government
Radcliffe Observatory Quarter
Woodstock Road
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Lectures and seminars
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The OSCE Special Monitoring Mission to Ukraine (SMM) was deployed on 21 March 2014, following a request to the OSCE by Ukraine’s Government and a consensus decision by all 57 OSCE participating States. The SMM is an unarmed, civilian mission, present on the ground 24/7. Its main tasks are to monitor and establish facts – so that decision-makers can reach resolution – to verify the sides’ commitments to cease fire, withdraw weapons, disengage forces and formations, and de-mine; and to facilitate dialogue on the ground in order to reduce tensions and promote normalization of the situation.

Although a sustainable ceasefire remains elusive, the SMM has achieved considerable and regular success in facilitating and monitoring localized adherence to the agreed ceasefire – essentially ‘windows of silence’ in specific areas allowing for assessment, maintenance and repair of critically important civilian infrastructure providing water, gas and electricity.