The OSCE was formed in 1990 by the Paris Charter, a summit with countries spanning from the U.S. to the Soviet Union that produced a non-binding treaty that not all OSCE members have signed. The charter established offices for free elections and conflict prevention, with a secretary-general. A different member nation holds the chairmanship of the OSCE each year and gives briefings to the United Nations Security Council.
The topics tackled by the OSCE included arms control, terrorism, economic and environmental issues, human trafficking, building democratic institutions, elections, equality, human rights and press freedom. Even though the Soviet Union has since fallen, Moscow has accused the OSCE of being a vehicle to advance Western interests. The U.S. Helsinki Commission, a panel composed of senators and congressmen tasked with overseeing the accords in practice, has called out Russia for its corruption, abuse of journalists, and even the detention of onetime oil tycoon and Kremlin opponent Mikhail Khodorkovsky.
The members of the OSCE are:
Bosnia and Herzegovina
Countries that are partners in cooperation are: