Permanent Representation of Finland Strasbourg
Committee Of Ministers 92nd Session 14 May 1993
Protection Of Minorities
The recent upsurge of extreme nationalism and ethnocentrism in Europe and especially in the region of the former Republic of Yugoslavia is calling for a rapid action for the protection of minorities. The increasing oppression and even violence towards minorities in different parts of our continent is a threat to security and peace in Europe.
The protection of minorities has become an essential part of security policy. The work done in the CSCE in the confidence building measures and prevention of conflicts in the field of minorities is important.
Also the Council of Europe has its role to play in this overall policy for the protection of minorities. In the Council of Europe we could and should aim for making legally binding norms for the protection of minorities.
The European Charter for the Regional or Minority Languages is the first step in this way. Further our deputies have instructed the CDDH to propose specific legal standards relating to the protection of national minorities. A working group under Finnish chairmanship has listed rights suitable to be included to an international legal instrument. We give all our support that the work for the protection of the rioghts of national minorities would lead to concrete results in the near future.
The Council of Europe summit could in this regard be the right place to take a decision in principle of making political commitment for the establisment of legal standards in this field.