Who's who at the meeting of ministers
Thirty-eight foreign ministers will attend today’s meeting in Dublin, including ministers from most EU states, the Russian foreign minister Sergei Lavrov and US secretary of state Hillary Clinton.
The rest of the 57 members of the Organisation for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) and the 10 partner countries will be represented by other ministers, such as ministers for European affairs, and ambassadors.
The size of the delegations varies from up to 100 personnel from countries such as the US, Russia and Kazakhstan to just a few officials from smaller states. About 1,300 delegates will attend. The meeting is officially focused on carefully crafted declarations but the chance to discuss important issues with close neighbours in informal bilaterals is what attracts so many high-level participants.
Twenty rooms have been set aside at the RDS complex for such meetings with three large executive-style boardrooms available for meetings of Mediterranean partner states, such as Tunisia and Morocco, and the Asian partners, such as Japan, Australia and Thailand.
Larger delegations, such as the US and Russia, have rooms with their own suites for meetings. Ireland is in demand for meetings as it will take over the EU presidency next month.
Today Minister for Foreign Affairs Eamon Gilmore will meet Mrs Clinton, Mr Lavrov, UK foreign secretary William Hague and the foreign minister of Kazakhstan.
Minister for European affairs Lucinda Creighton will meet the foreign ministers of Finland, Georgia, Liechtenstein and Andorra. Minister for trade and development Joe Costello will meet ministers from Mongolia and Japan, and an ambassador from Uzbekistan.
Mr Gilmore will meet the foreign ministers of the Netherlands and Serbia while Ms Creighton will meet ministers from the Czech Republic, Montenegro and Macedonia.
While EU countries discuss bilateral issues in Brussels, the OSCE ministerial meeting is the only chance for states in central Asia to meet. Kazakhstan, which held the chair in 2010, will have a large number of delegates and will “use the meeting to promote its economic interests”, said an Irish official.