Human Dimension Implementation Meeting

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The Human Dimension Implementation Meeting is a human rights and democracy conference held by the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) on an annual basis in Warsaw (Poland).

The two-week conference is attended by some 1000 government representatives, international experts, non-governmental organizations, and human rights activists. Organized every autumn by the Warsaw-based OSCE Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights (ODIHR), the meeting is considered to be Europe's largest human rights conference.

The Human Dimension Implementation Meeting (HDIM) was established in the early 1990s to create a forum for participating States of the OSCE to discuss the implementation of the "human dimension" commitments they have adopted by consensus at prior Summits and Ministerial Meetings. In OSCE parlance, the term "human dimension" describes the set of norms and activities related to human rights, the rule of law, and democracy that are regarded within the OSCE as one of the three pillars of its comprehensive security concept, along with the politico-military and the economic and environmental dimensions.

One of the distinct features setting the HDIM apart from other high-level human rights conferences is its openness to the participation of non-governmental organizations (NGOs). NGOs can participate in the conference on an equal footing with government representatives. For NGOs from states where civil society is weak and constrained, the HDIM can be one of the few opportunities they have to make their voices heard before an international audience.

The plenary sessions of the conference are supposed to review the progress made over the past year by participating States and remaining shortcomings with respect to realizing their human dimension commitments.

The agenda is set by the OSCE's Permanent Council. Regular sessions cover the full range of OSCE commitments related to human rights and democracy. Three days are reserved for more in-depth discussions of three different topics selected by the Permanent Council every year.

On the sidelines of the HDIM, dozens of side events are organized by participating delegations and NGOs.

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