What is the Permanent Council?
The Permanent Council is the collective name given to the Permanent Representatives – usually Ambassador-level – of the OSCE’s 57 participating States and 11 partner States.
Permanent Council sessions (“PCs”) are weekly plenary meetings chaired by a representative of the country serving as the OSCE’s Chair-in-Office, who leads the OSCE delegations through a number of agenda items. At these meetings, which normally take place Thursday mornings, delegations discuss the OSCE’s work and developments throughout the region, and reach decisions on new commitments and administrative matters.
The PC is a platform for receiving and responding to reports from the heads of OSCE Institutions and field operations, for welcoming high-level visitors from OSCE States and other international organizations, and for reviewing current issues with regard to OSCE commitments made by the participating States. At the PC, delegations are free to voice concerns and exchange views on matters deemed relevant to the OSCE’s comprehensive security mission.
Reports to the Permanent Council and certain other matters are usually open to invited visitors, but discussions of current issues take place in private. However, the OSCE publishes a Journal of the Day summarizing each PC meeting, and some participating States, including the United States, publish the statements they make at PCs.