Framework Convention Press Release


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Date: Mon, 25 Sep 2000 11:40:57 +0200 (EET)
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Subject: Framework Convention Press Release

From: MINELRES moderator <minelres@mailbox.riga.lv>

Original sender: Nicola Markes-Goerlach
<Nicola.MARKES-GOERLACH@coe.int>

Framework Convention Press Release


Advisory Committee on the Framework Convention for the Protection of
National Minorities adopts its first opinions

STRASBOURG, 22.09.2000
The Advisory Committee on the Framework Convention for the Protection
of National Minorities adopted today its first-ever country-specific
opinions on the implementation of this convention in States Parties.
The opinions adopted today relate to the following four countries:
Denmark, Finland, Hungary and Slovakia. The opinions will now be
submitted to the Committee of Ministers, which is to adopt conclusions
and recommendations in respect of these States. The opinions of the
Advisory Committee shall be made public at the same time as the
conclusions and recommendations of the Committee of Ministers, unless
in a specific case the Committee of Ministers decides otherwise.

The Advisory Committee, set up in 1998 in accordance with Article 26
of the Framework Convention for the Protection of National Minorities,
is composed of independent experts with recognised expertise in the
field of national minorities. The Advisory Committee is tasked to
adopt an opinion on each of the 32 States that have ratified the
Framework Convention.

The Framework Convention for the Protection of National Minorities

The Framework Convention sets out the principles to be respected and
implemented by the States Parties. They thereby undertake:
* to combat discrimination,
* to promote full and effective equality, between national minorities
and the majority,
* to promote the conditions necessary to preserve and develop the
culture and safeguard the identity of national minorities, their
language, religion and tradition,
* to afford persons belonging to national minorities freedom of
peaceful assembly, freedom of association, freedom of expression and
freedom of thought, conscience and religion,
* to ensure the right to access to and use of the media, 

in the field of linguistic freedoms 
* to allow the use of the minority language in private and in public,
as well as in dealings with administrative authorities,
* to recognise the right to use one's name in the minority language, 
* to recognise the right to display information of a private nature
visible to the public in the minority language,
* to make efforts to display topographical indications in the minority
language,

in the field of education,
* to provide opportunities for learning a minority language and for
receiving instruction in this language,
* to recognise the creation of educational and training
establishments,
* not to hinder transfrontier contacts,
* to foster transfrontier and international co-operation,
* to encourage participation in economic, cultural and social life,
* to promote participation in public affairs,
* to prohibit forced assimilation.

Implementation
The Convention includes a monitoring mechanism, under which the States
Parties are obliged to present, within one year after the entry into
force of the Convention, a report containing full information on
legislative and other measures taken to give effect to the Convention.
On the basis of this report, which are made public, the Committee of
Ministers, assisted by the Advisory Committee, evaluates the adequacy
of the Convention's implementation.


Nicola Markes-Goerlach
Council of Europe
Directorate General of Human Rights
Secretariat of the Framework Convention for the Protection of National
Minorities and of the DH-MIN
F-67075 Strasbourg-Cedex
nicola.markes-goerlach@coe.int
http://www.humanrights.coe.int/minorities/index.htm

Tel:   00 33 - (0)3 90 21 44 33
Fax:  00 33 - (0)3 88 41 27 93

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