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Are Some States And Minorities More Equal Than Others? Double Standards And The Work Of The OSCE High Commissioner On National Minorities

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Chapter Summary

The purpose of this article is to discuss the challenge of double standards in the work of the High Commissioner and to address the main criticisms raised against the HCNM in this context. It describes the mandate of the HCNM as a conflict prevention instrument, which stipulates focus on security with built-in flexibility can be mis-interpreted as conducive to the application of double standards. It then moves on to the exposition of the main criticisms of the HCNM's security-focused approach. This article highlights some of the most interesting and challenging arguments from that debate and addressed them from the point of view of the institution of the High Commissioner. It shows that the HCNM's approach is justified first because security and human rights are closely inter-connected at many different levels and, second, because the question of national minorities is multi-dimensional and requires a comprehensive approach that goes beyond human rights.

Keywords: Double standards; HCNM; High commissioner; human rights; National Minorities



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