The OSCE Special Monitoring Mission to Ukraine (SMMU)
Following the dramatic events in Ukraine in early 2014 and a subsequent request to the OSCE by the Ukrainian Government, the OSCE Special Monitoring Mission to Ukraine (SMM) was established by consensus in Vienna on 21 March 2014.
Since then, NORDEM has contributed a total of 23 Monitoring Officers and one Political Analyst to the mission, 17 in 2015 alone.
The SMM, now counting more than 1000 mission members, is an unarmed, civilian mission present on the ground 24/7 in the volatile conflict areas in Eastern Ukraine as well as other parts of the country. Monitoring Officers perform a key role in observing and reporting in an impartial and objective way on the situation in the disputed territories and are tasked with monitoring the implementation of the cease fire agreements, the “Minsk package of measures”, and the withdrawal of weapons from the line of contact.
Since the deployment of the first Monitoring Officers nearly two years ago, the SMM has proved an invaluable asset to the international community, which has come to view the mission as the only trustworthy “eyes and ears” on the ground. In the second half of 2015 the situation in Eastern Ukraine became remarkably calmer, but the conflict, which has claimed 9000 lives so far, is far from solved and we should be prepared for the fighting to intensify yet again. In this context, NORDEM will continue to deploy dedicated and skilled personnel to the mission with the aim of strengthening the OSCE’s efforts to reduce tensions and foster peace, stability and security.