On 19 and 20 February 2004, more than 250 parliamentarians from 50 OSCE participating States met in the OSCE premises in Vienna to discuss current international developments and to be briefed by senior representatives of the OSCE Governmental side. The Winter Meeting was also attended by OSCE diplomats and officials from Europe, North America and Central Asia, as well as observers from partner states in North Africa and Asia.

The first day of the Winter Meeting included a Joint Session of the Assembly's three General Committees followed by meetings of the General Committee on Political Affairs and Security and the General Committee on Economic Affairs, Science, Technology and Environment. The Joint Session was addressed by OSCE PA President Bruce George, the President of the Austrian Nationalrat, Andreas Khol, and OSCE Chairman-in-Office Solomon Passy. The Joint Session also included the presentation of the 2004 OSCE Prize for Journalism and Democracy to the Committee to Protect Journalist (CPJ).

On the second day of the Winter Meeting, the General Committee on Democracy, Human Rights and Humanitarian Questions met, followed by a Closing Joint Session of the three General Committees, which was addressed by OSCE Secretary General Jan Kubis. The Winter Meeting also served as an opportunity for parliamentarians to hear presentations by the three General Committee Rapporteurs, Clifford Lincoln, Leonid Ivanchenko and Nebahat Albayrak and to discuss their draft reports on "Co-operation and Partnership: Coping with New Security Treats", the theme of the 13th OSCE PA Annual Session in July 2004 in Edinburgh.