THE HAGUE, 7 March 2013 – The OSCE Chairperson-in-Office, Ukrainian Foreign Minister Leonid Kozhara, speaking today at an event marking the 20th anniversary of the OSCE High Commissioner on National Minorities (HCNM) said lasting peace and security can only be achieved by respecting and upholding human rights, including the rights of persons belonging to national minorities.
“Long-term stability in diverse societies can be achieved only by unity and effective integration policies of the multi-ethnic state,” said Kozhara.
“Throughout 20 years the OSCE High Commissioner has accumulated considerable experience and developed unique practical tools to contribute to the prevention of conflicts at the earliest possible stage,” Minister Kozhara said.
The OSCE Chair reiterated his strong support for the institution of the High Commissioner on National Minorities as an important mechanism for promoting dialogue, confidence and co-operation on national minority issues in the OSCE area. He stressed the need for the implementation of the commitments on national minorities undertaken by the participating States.
“As we mark today the 20th anniversary of this institution, I would like to call upon all participating States to ensure that the HCNM remains as relevant, useful and authoritative in the future as it has been until now,” said Minister Kozhara.