Language policy can promote stability. For many individuals and groups, language is a key component of identity, and threats to it can raise tensions. Respect for linguistic rights, whilst also considering a state’s need to maintain cohesion, reduces conflict potential. The OSCE High Commissioner on National Minorities promotes functional solutions to such contentious issues, and the Oslo Recommendations regarding the Linguistic Rights of National Minorities address these challenges. This book analyses the components of a balanced legal and policy framework on language use, with a view to preventing conflict. In addition to reviewing the work of the OSCE HCNM in this area, it also draws upon the expertise of other international organisations and leading academics working in this field.
The effective management of differences between groups within democracies means moving beyond the examination of individual rights. In the field of national minorities conflict prevention diplomacy, promoting the effective participation of national minorities in public life is a primary objective. Enhancing participation encourages a sense of belonging, contributes to societal integration, and promotes cohesion within the multi-ethnic state. The Lund Recommendations on the Effective Participation of National Minorities in Public Life directly address these challenges, and the OSCE High Commissioner on National Minorities works with states and national minority groups to advance functional solutions that reduce tensions and foster stability.
This volume analyses the components of a balanced legal and policy framework related to effective participation of national minorities, with a view to preventing conflict, and reviews the related work of the OSCE and other international organisations.
This article provides a summary of activities of the osce High Commissioner on National Minorities during 2014. The basic philosophy behind the institution’s approach to conflict prevention remains unchanged: a society at peace with itself will more likely be at peace with its neighbours. To achieve this internal stability, respect for the rights of persons belonging to national minorities is essential. The year 2014 was challenging for the High Commissioner who, together with other osce Institutions and structures, faced the challenge of reacting to the rapidly evolving crisis situation in Ukraine. This topic dominated others in the institution’s work. Despite this, the High Commissioner continued to engage across the full breadth of her geographic and thematic portfolio. She personally undertook official country visits to twelve participating states, several more than once. During these visits, she promoted her unique approach to conflict prevention—the integration of society with respect for the rights of national minorities.