US Mission to the OSCE commends HCNM

From: MINELRES moderator <>
Date: Mon, 10 Jan 2000 08:34:33 +0200 (EET)
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Subject: US Mission to the OSCE commends HCNM

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US Mission to the OSCE commends HCNM

Washington DC / USA (Erika Schlager) 
January the 5th, 2000

December 9, 1999 PC.DEL/629/99 10 December 1999


Response to the High Commissioner on National Minorities
Delivered by Ambassador David T. Johnson to the Permanent Council,

Mr. Chairman,

We welcome Mr. Van der Stoel to the Permanent Council and thank him
for agreeing to extend his stay as High Commissioner.  The OSCE
benefits from the energy and commitment, experience and dedication
that he brings to his position. We look forward to working with him
for an additional year.

The Istanbul Declaration highlighted the need for increased
interaction between the OSCE and its Central Asian members. We believe
the OSCE has a role to play in addressing the security concerns of the
Central Asian participating States.  But it can only do this if it
retains its focus on strengthening the rule of law and respect for
human rights and fundamental freedoms.  Because of this, we support
fully the work of the High Commissioner in addressing interethnic
tensions in Central Asia - a significant nexus of human and security
dimension issues.

We congratulate the High Commissioner on his work with the
multi-cultural university in Cluj. This effort lies at the core of all
the OSCE represents. It is especially appropriate that Romania is
supporting this initiative as part of its preparations for the
important role it is to take on in 2001, as the Chair-in-Office of our

We support the importance placed by the HCNM and the Mission on
acquisition of the Latvian language as a crucial part of the ongoing
social integration process in Latvia.  We encourage Latvia to continue
its cooperation with the High Commissioner to ensure that passage and
implementation of the language law furthers its OSCE commitments.

The question of refugee returns remains a key issue in Croatia.  Our
Mission's Return and Reintegration unit has played a vital role in
refugee returns, and in reporting on the effectiveness of the Croatian
Government's program for returns. The OSCE co-chairs with the UNHCR
the Government of Croatia/International community return coordinating
committee.  We view this as one of the fundamental activities of the
OSCE in Croatia. The U.S. also places great importance other ongoing
OSCE efforts in Croatia - support for free and fair elections, rule of
law, and democratic institutions.  We believe these are vital for
ensuring the security of all Croatians, including minorities.

We commend continued progress in the Slovak Republic on interethnic
issues, particularly with regard to the minority language law.  We
urge continued efforts to integrate more fully the Roma community into
Slovak society.

We commend the High Commissioner for his ongoing commitment to help
the Government of the FYROM address the desire of so many in Macedonia
to pursue higher education in his or her mother tongue.

Finally, Mr. Chairman, the High Commissioner made a special plea for
his budgetary request.  I would like to fully support that.  It is an
appropriate, effective and efficient way for us to spend our
taxpayers' money and to represent our Governments' interests here. 
One of the addresses in Istanbul described your work and that of ODIHR
as, "top of the table," in terms of productivity among international
organizations.  We cannot imagine but that all of us around this table
would fully support the proposals that you have made in terms of
budget this morning.

Thank you, Mr. Chairman.

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