Minister for Europe David Lidington has congratulated the OSCE High Commissioner on National Minorities on the occasion of its 20th anniversary. The Minister highlighted the High Commissioner’s “important role in easing ethnic tension and reducing the risk of instability”.
The Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe established the position of High Commissioner on National Minorities to seek early resolution of ethnic tension that might endanger peace, stability or friendly relations between participating States. It was created in the early 1990s in response to the ethnic conflict following the break-up of long established states.
David Lidington, Minister for Europe said:
I congratulate the Office of the OSCE High Commissioner on National Minorities (HCNM) as it marks the 20th anniversary of its creation. The High Commissioner’s confidential and low-profile work to address issues such as education, language rights, the participation of minorities in decision making, media access, policing and integration has played an important role in easing ethnic tension and reducing the risk of instability. As is clear from the wide ranging activities and challenges described in his regular reports to the OSCE Permanent Council, HCNM’s sensitive and skilful diplomacy remains just as relevant and necessary in today’s context as an instrument of conflict prevention.
We appreciate the outstanding work of the current High Commissioner Knut Vollebaek, his distinguished predecessors, the late Max van der Stoel and Rolf Ekéus as well all the dedicated staff that have served in this important institution. I wish HCNM a successful commemorative conference.
Read more about the work of the High Commissioner on National Minorities at the OSCE website
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