The first meeting of the international body monitoring democracy and security for more than ten years is being held in the Central Asian state of Kazakhstan.
The discussions are expected to focus on Afghanistan, international drug trafficking and terrorism.
But some campaigners say Kazakhstan has a “stagnant” record on human rights and should not be chairing the organisation or even hosting the OSCE meeting at all.
The conflict in Afghanistan is one of the main items on the agenda.
US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton has called on all 56 OSCE members to play a greater role in resolving the country’s issues.
Three out of five Central Asian states border the conflict-torn country, and are important supply routes for NATO forces.
Transnational threats like terrorism will also be discussed, along with international measures on dealing with the problem.