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Forty years ago, the Conference on Security and Cooperation in Europe concluded with the signing of the Helsinki Final Act, a historic triumph of cooperation over conflict that set the stage for the end of the Cold War.A growing sense of mistrust and hostility, together with a diminishing commitment to the OSCE's brand of comprehensive security, was hindering cooperation in various areas.The OSCE could play a pivotal role, serving, like the Helsinki conference 40 years ago, as a platform to overcome the existing divide, restore trust and rebuild a cooperative approach to common security concerns.The most visible aspects of the OSCE response to the crisis in and around Ukraine have been carried out by the Trilateral Contact Group and the Special Monitoring Mission. The East-West divide that leaders in Helsinki confronted in 1975 was much wider than the one that that exists today. Yet, with courage and commitment, they managed to produce a pragmatic compromise based on a set of key principles – a compromise that opened the way for far-reaching cooperation and, indeed, the emergence of today's interconnected and interdependent world.Today's leaders must show similar wisdom and vision, supporting the OSCE's efforts to revitalize the principles of the Helsinki accord. Ivica Dacic, Serbia's foreign minister, is currently the chairman of the OSCE.
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