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OSCE

The OSCE High Commissioner on National Minorities

The post of the OSCE High Commissioner on National Minorities (HCNM) was established in 1992. Its role is to identify and seek early resolution of ethnic tensions that might endanger peace, stability or friendly relations between OSCE participating States. The High Commissioner in not intended to be a national minorities ombudsman, he is not the High Commissioner for National Minorities but the High Commissioner on National Minorities. Its mandate does not belong to OSCE human dimension of the human rights area but to the politico-military dimension. HCNM informs the Permanent Council about his/her activities twice a year.
HCNM belongs to the most important and recognized institutions of the OSCE. His/her expertise is recognized also by the other international organizations (including UNO, EU and the Council of Europe). HCNM is the well-established instrument of conflict prevention that has participated on the resolution of many conflict situations or problematic questions in the OSCE. The mandate of the HCNM is unique. HCNM shall act confidentially and based on his/her own judgment not according to the instructions of the others. HCNM makes his/her decision impartially, based on his/her judgment, if the particular situation belongs to his/her mandate. Since the establishment of the post of the HCNM, there has been elaborated several thematic recommendations or guidelines concerning the national minorities and several recommendations to the concerned states. The thematic recommendations and guidelines are not legally binding. Their implementation depends on the states. They are addressed not only to the governments but also to minorities themselves.

The OSCE Representative on Freedom of the Media

The post of the OSCE Representative on Freedom of the Media with its seat in Vienna was established in 1997 in order to ensure high level of the protection of the freedom of expression and freedom of media in participating states of the OSCE. The OSCE Representative on Freedom of the Media observes the implementation of the particular OSCE commitments; submits the respective reports on regular basis to the Permanent Council of the OSCE, and provides the states with his/her assistance.

CiO Representatives to promote tolerance

The mandates of the CiO Representatives to promote tolerance reflect the will of the participating states of the OSCE to fight against the racism, xenophobia and discrimination. The role of the three representatives (combating anti-semitism; intolerance and discrimination against Muslims; racism, xenophobia and discrimination) is in the implementation of the commitments resulting from the OSCE decisions, enhancing the cooperation with the other OSCE institutions to achieve their common goals, and providing the states with his/her assistance.

The Office for Democratic Institution and Human Rights

The Office for Democratic Institution and Human Rights (ODIHR) observes the implementation of the OSCE commitments in their human rights and fundamental freedoms dimension within the territory of the OSCE participating states. Its expertise focuses particularly on the area of election monitoring. ODIHR organizes the Human Dimension Implementation Meeting in Warsaw and several other events on aspects of human dimension every year. It fulfills the role of the Contact Point for Roma and Sinti, too.
The ODIHR was originally established as the Office for the Free Election in terms of the Charter of Paris (1990). Its mandate was extended and the office became the ODIHR in 1992.