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Statements in International Organisations

29.06.2006

OSCE Permanent Council No. 616


EU Statement in response to the High Commissioner on National Minorities, Ambassador Rolf Ekéus

 

1. The European Union warmly welcomes Ambassador Ekéus back to the Permanent Council. The EU renews its full support for the valuable work carried out by the High Commissioner as an instrument of early warning and conflict prevention and thanks him for his comprehensive and detailed report on country-specific issues.

2. We would like to thank the HCNM for his active role in providing expert assistance to participating States engaged in efforts towards the protection of the specific rights of persons belonging to national minorities and the integration of minority communities.

3. We are pleased to note the HCNM’s assessment that Georgian authorities have demonstrated a strong commitment in this respect, and have requested Ambassador Ekéus to proceed with projects aiming at addressing key minority-related issues in various parts of the country. The EU also fully supports the HCNM’s efforts towards confidence building between the communities in Abkhazia  in the field of Education.

4. The EU welcomes the positive response by Turkmenistan, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan to the HCNM’s invitation to an informal exchange of views next month in The Hague in order to prepare for a forthcoming Central Asia regional ministerial conference on “Education as a means of integration”. We fully endorse the aims of the initiative, and encourage Uzbekistan to participate in this process. The EU would also like to commend the HCNM for the assistance given to the Kyrgyz authorities to develop policing appropriate to the country’s multiethnic society and to improve the majority-minority relations in Kyrgyzstan, including on issues pertaining to the role of languages, which complements the Police Assistance Programme carried out in Kyrgyzstan.

5. The EU is pleased to note the HCNM’s ongoing dialogue with the countries of South Eastern Europe on issues related to the integration of national minorities. We appreciate his intention to initiate discussions with Serbian authorities with a view to improving the response of law-enforcement bodies to ethnically motivated incidents. We also appreciate Ambassador Ekéus’ endeavours to provide assistance to international efforts aiming to establish a framework guaranteeing the rights of all communities living in Kosovo.  Furthermore, we support the HCNM’s close involvement in the implementation of Croatia’s Constitutional Law on National Minorities, which we agree can be considered as an example for the whole region. We welcome the fact that progress has been achieved and that the Croatian government has already taken steps to address remaining problems. The European Union encourages the HCNM to also continue his work in the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia.

On Moldova, the EU values the HCNM’s work towards the promotion of societal integration in the country, in particular in the autonomous region of Gagauzia.

6. The EU appreciates the dialogue between the High Commissioner and Latvian authorities on social integration issues. 

7. The European Union once again reiterates the importance it attaches to the respect for the specific rights of persons belonging to national minorities and expresses its deep appreciation for the High Commissioner’s continuing efforts to promote peace, stability and friendly relations within and between OSCE participating States.

 

 

The Acceding Countries Bulgaria and Romania, the Candidate Countries Turkey, Croatia* and the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia*, the Countries of the Stabilisation and Association Process and potential candidates Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina and Serbia, EFTA countries Island and Norway, members of the European Economic Area, as well as Ukraine and the Republic of Moldova align themselves with this declaration.

*Croatia and the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia continue to be part of the Stabilisation and Association Process

 

Date: 29.06.2006