tv Johns Hopkins Discussion on Minorities and Conflict Prevention CSPAN October 8, 2018 4:30pm-6:03pm EDT
say i'm so glad that you didn't ask me a spelling bee question. i admitted this to kevin on the way in, that i gave up spelling for lent in like fourth grade and i never went back to it. so thank you all very much. [ applause ] >> we'd like to thank the air force secretary for coming here today and taking so much time to answer our mountain of questions. i didn't get to -- and the high commissioner on national minorities for the organization for security and cooperation in europe will be talking about conflict prevention. the organization has 57 participating nations in north america, europe and asia. it's the world's largest regional security organization. the johns hopkins school of advanced international studies is hosting today's live event and it should be starting shortly right here on c-span 3.
>> -- and on c-span to this discussion with ambassador lamberto lonero for the osce. my name is terrence hopman professor of conflict management at johns hopkins school of international study and i'm joined by leasel hints assistant professor international relations and european studies who will offer comments before we open the session after our primary speaker has finished. before introducing ambassador zannier let me say a word about the osce for those in our audience who may not be familiar with it. the osce began as the conference on security and cooperation in europe with the signing of the helsinki final act in 1975. in the midst of the cold war. by the heads of state of 35
countries from europe, including the soviet union and other countries in central and western europe as well as the united states and canada. in osce language extending from vancouver to vladalostok the long way around. it enhanced security by confidence building measures, opening the way for economic and environmental activities and promoting human contacts between east and western europe during the cold war. many of us believe that it played a critical role, actually, in bringing an end to the cold war and establishing a whole new set of political relationships in europe. with the collapse of communism in 1989-'91 the cse created a set of permanent institutional structures including a secretari secretariat, a permanent council at the ambassador y'all level and a conflict resolution center based in vienna, an office of democratic institutions and
human rights based in warsaw and the high commissioner on national minorities based in the hague. today's speaker ambassador zannier has been an italian diplomate for 40 years and has served as head of three of these osce institutions. from 2002 to 2006 he directed the conflict prevention center. from 2011 to 2017 he served as secretary general for the maximum allowable two terms. since july 2017 he has served as the high commissioner on national minorities. a unique institution in the world that monitors issues involving minorities and their relationship with their governments in the current 57 osce participating states, extending, again, from vancouver to vladalostok the long way around. between 2008 and 2011 he also served as the head of the united
nations mission in kosovo at a very sensitive time following kosovo's unilateral declaration of independence from serbia. we are fortunate to have ambassador zannier with us today with his breath of experience in promoting peaceful cooperation in eurasia since the end of the cold war and he will be speaking to us about the important topic of minorities in europe, can they be integrated. welcome, ambassador, and thank you very much for joining us today. >> thank you very much, professor, for having me here. very pleased to have [ inaudible ] -- present some of my [ inaudible ]. you mentioned the title of my office, high commissioner [ inaudible ] -- actually, when
the mandate was adopted it was a major topic for the [ inaudible ] -- high commissioner [ inaudible ]. [ inaudible ]. because the mandate -- the mandate that focuses on conflict prevention, it's not a mandate of perfection, but it's a mandate of engaging with minorities, engaging with countries where minorities reside to look at -- how stable those relationships are. in fact, we are looking and this debate took place in the early '90s in europe, the end of the cold war, we saw a process of dissolution of countries like the soviet union or [ inaudible ] at the time. we saw new entities emerge,
orders that were internal became virtually overnight international borders and those borders were dividing people, people were used to coming across these -- these internal boundaries and suddenly they are to produce passports, in some cases they needed a visa. also we saw in some cases they felt particularly uncomfortable being locked on a particular side of the border and this generated conflict immediately. in fact, we had a number of local conflicts that go back to that phase and they are still around. we called them frozen conflict, protracted conflict. they were really difficult, too difficult to freeze, but many of these are still there. [ inaudible ] -- these are all situations that go back to the time that the region had the
conflict that we managed to freeze where we established mechanisms to deal with this -- with these conflicts that in many cases they're still unresolved. in fact, we have seen over time additional issues coming on the agenda, the kosovo crisis -- kosovo but then the crisis in and around ukraine, crimea and the conflict. the situation hasn't become easier at all since that time. talking about conflict, if you think well and you look around you will see that it's difficult even to find an example of a classic interstate conflict. conflicts are really all becoming very difficult to define, hybrid, internal to countries, involving relations
between -- between groups within the society on various grounds, religious difference, ethnic difference, political difference and very often we see players outside either in the neighborhood, in the region or even further away who have an agency even in those -- in the context of those conflicts and who have a role and who play that role sometimes fueling those conflicts. dealing with conflict prevention in these times is becoming increasingly complicated. you need to understand and to have a good sense of what is happening within our society and to understand where divisions within the society might develop in a negative way and create the potential for crisis or even -- or even conflict.
so conflict prevention moving us in that direction, a difficult direction. actually, we had this debate last week in new york at the security council with a number of regional -- sorry, the united nations general assembly with a number of regional organizations and we had exactly that debate and we feel the need also to exchange best practices and lessons among regional organizations under the umbrella of the u.n. mandate to promote peace, but there is recognition that to intervene and to try to prevent this kind of conflict you need to activate those regional players where the better knowledge of the history, culture, context in which this situation develops and there is stronger potential to intervene in support of the global action to address that.
so how do we do it? first of all, perhaps we should focus on the notion of minority. it can become a straitjacket. different governments have different understandings of what is minority. there are countries that by constitution argue we have no minority. you look at them and look at the societies and they look very diverse, but it's a matter of how they themselves define their societies and their internal structures. so i think it is important to stay away from greed, conventional definitions of minorities and focus more on the realities on the ground. the first high commissioner who was a former well known dutch foreign minister used to say i know a minority when i see it. in fact, it's very true.
for me a minority is able to identify itself as such. so it's engaging with the people on the ground, you will have a sense of whether there are any groups that feel that they are not really -- they don't identify themselves necessarily with the majority and they have specific issues that needed a dressing. and of course there are new minorities that are appearing. we have seen the debate around migration and one of the results of migration is making our societies more diverse. so this requires overseeing by government to facilitate the integration of also the new minorities and also focus on the risk that an influx and in some cases important influx of new
groups may if not well integrated in the society may provoke inn stakts. so these things need focusing on and factoring into policies that promote integration of society. so as i -- as i look at the toolbox that we have to address these issues, i find based on the experience that my predecessors have developed and working they developed i see that i have a very broad set. i was myself surprised i have to say after i took over this job just over a year ago to find out that one of the areas where i have a number of programs actively developed is the area of education. and this is because integration
starts here. if we see segregated education and there are fortunately many areas, i see areas of different schools where different programs for different parts of the society and where certain of these programs at least in history are different and the young generation comes up with differences that are already ingrained and the people come out of school that sometimes are difficult to reconcile because they have different understanding of history itself. so investing in education, investing in integrating education is an excellent -- to bring more coherence within the society and to give those fundamentals if you want for the society to become integrated. the office has produced over time a number of recommendations
and the first set of recommendations was exactly on education, looking at models of integrated education and putting forward -- putting forward suggestions on how to -- in some cases, for instance, develop programs of multi-lingual education where minorities can maintain and protect their own identity through the use of language and culture -- but while teaching and ensuring that everybody learns the state language because the next step is to ensure the full participation of all members of the society so including all the members of the minorities into the society. access to -- life, the administration, the economy of course, so every aspect is
crucial. so to these guidelines of education then we have another set of guidelines on participation in this society. these are 20 years old guidelines. i can show you some examples. these are three -- the center ones are the only participation of minorities in public life and we will be celebrating -- next year we will be marking the 20th anniversary of these recommendations. so the aspect that we touch upon have to do with many issues. the rule of law being a very important area, policing. look at some countries there's still -- the majority still tends to have control over policing. when you have minority groups that feel discriminated, if the
police represent the dominating class in the country, then you undermine, first of all, the trust in the police, but also the efficiency, the effectiveness of the police in operating within communities that have a different ethnic -- of course, we would like over time to see these communities better melted into society, but when we have a signal of concentrated minority communities we also consider that as a signal that something is not proceeding well in integration of society, but having police and having access to the judiciary open for everybody and to ensure that -- and not only the access to the courts but also the members of the judiciary are including also representatives of the community, i think it's important to ensure that there is enough trust in the judiciary
and more broadly in the rule of law in any given country for us to be able to say that that is an important step towards trusting institutions and, therefore, towards stability in the -- in the society. another set of important recommendations, we have what we call an umbrella recommendations, these are the guidelines of integration -- and this is a set of recommendations -- recommendations that are developed on the basis of the -- that the office has picked in working various parts of the area so it's lessons learned, it's best practices, but it's also the result of exchanges with scholars in these areas so there is also a little bit of an academic side to it, but they're
very interesting. one of the reasons why we managed -- or my process has managed to make them so rich is these were never run through the inter-governmental process of agreement but otherwise they would have [ inaudible ] -- but then they become some very good recommendations can be used in the divided environment which we operate when we come to that in a minute. divided environment for which these recommendations, that's another set, are very relevant because they define the role of the so-called king. when i was mentioning earlier that often in the context of conflicts you find other countries that are influencing developments within -- within a country. this has often to do with countries that have a kingship with the minority group itself and that's something that we are monitoring and we are trying
also to regulate through these guidelines because it's normal that the country that has an affinity with a group may wish to support that group, to support it in education, to support it in culture and all that, but that support is limit, the limit is the sovereignty of the country where the [ inaudible ] resides and also the effect i was of the policy of integration of that country. if they support from the external actor that complicates the indication of the minority group and the society this becomes a recipe for -- for problems so a crisis down the line. we see quite a bit of it at times. this is because we are living in times that are complicated also in terms of the overall political environment. we see populism, nationalism prevailing in many areas and what i'm seeing from my perspective is that minorities are often becoming hostage of
relations among -- among countries. often -- i find there are countries that say you should go and take a look at what neighbor is doing to my country. how are they being treated? are they asking me to visit him? the diversity in its own society. i'm pleasing everybody. i make my life -- i feel that this is -- this is an important part of my job. so looking at how it weighs in the balance. the two elements, all of the country where certain measure of support from other country.
can be tolerated. should be tolerated. is also part of what we are doing. and there are areas -- i could mention example for instance of the community, the guiding community at a time when we see rapid development. we see adoption of laws that do affect the law on education. the law on education is stronger in ukrainian language. and in areas where the unity with different ethnicityies. russia -- or russia's people. they expect there is a tradition
of stronger tournament. the language of the communities. if this is accentuated, this will complicate the integration of the community on the ukrainian language. so that these communities are basically saying, we've always done it this way, why do we need to change? ukrainian authorities will say, well, this is now the new pattern, we need to move toward a strong integration phase on the ukrainian identity for the country. and language -- so this is again one issue of finding the right balance between the two, prot ses that should not be too traumatic, should give time to adjust. it's also important to tell the
communities it's in their interest to make sure they're integrated. the students come out from minorities, tend to struggle the language test for access to the university in the independent language. this will be more and more the case in the future many so you need to prepare the future ag n generation. that's where we to engage in possibly the technical level, this is where the guidelines, introducing guidelines, they become useful because they're neutral. this is the way it's being done. it's working there, is no need to drum ties the issue or the solutions that they've been working in many cases. and we can use them also.
now, talking education, the question of history i mentioned earlier is one that keeps appealing, and keeps complicating. we see the use of pinballs, also the understanding of history very present. days that we'll see discourse. it complicates -- we start focusing on that, they decide with a group of historians, looking for details. so best practice. very, very -- because we see also in the debates, the
official forum of the accusations. only the issues that have to do with the -- i presents them -- what is the issue. and we're looking also at the mul multiperspectives in history. and making for all kind of fee, the study of history has not become through -- how can we say? a pool or a process that can pluralize even more. community where we see divisions growing much but trying to use this to the understanding of the perspective of the other. this can apply to so many.
i mention ukraine and hungary, there are many -- this weekend, we have the election crossing and back. in an environment that -- can i say can complicate things by working. in bosnia, with the president of -- the leader of the serbs appointed -- results of affection. to be confirmed as one of the members of -- one of the most complicated the institution set up. now, the date on the courts,
which are crucial helping conflict there. we will be at the starting point of a new phase where bosnia will develop -- the notion of the classification to separation of the country. the countryies -- the separation -- given more -- how can we say, the people are more entrenched with the system of separation of balance between the ethnicities. now this is creating elements of this functionality.
>> before even meeting the other co presidents. and he's already talking about the need to conclude also the role of the international community through the office -- major changes already being announced. and so we have to see what follows the position in terms that -- i can say challenge for the international community. you seize they have the largest presence. in hezbollah we have some 10
offices with large missions in say saraje sarajevo. i was mentioning education earlier. we will be awards in giving an important award later this year to a group of students from a -- there's seating in the country. because they demonstrated publicly until weeks against a proposal to set up one of these tools that go back to the date of concept. separating schools. schools are under one roof, but in fact they're segregated. if you are a occurrence student you go right. and you're studying a certain kind of history, if you're
bosnian you go left, and you don't meet with the students, and you have separate teachers and separate curriculum. and the young people were in the streets, we look to study together. we belong to the same community. and we don't care. we want the same teacher. they went against the resistance of the authorities. oh, that's the way we do business and education. and they won. and we feel really that we need to recognize and to show the reason in spite of encouragement of the authorities on these old motives. i mentioned the young bosnia -- we have elections from which we see under -- the reasons are clear a way forward for the formation of the new government.
we will be looking at that. this is not exceptional, coming from italy. and residing in the netherlands and also witness the very long decision of the government there. there is a party that presents a large part of the very substantial russian speaking minority there. that does come up with a very strong result. there are some political parties that do reflect this more nationalistic and in some cases. the countries, the parties that could have helped in a way find the balance have lost some also. it's not very obvious what kind of condition can follow it where the balance is, and to what
extent, the government there, is a lot of -- the path that they present. and there are values there. and this is a part, the leader who is the current mayor of the capitol. in a way, it's about -- presenting a well integrated path of the russian speaking -- it's not going to be an easy process for that. as the agenda is broad, we can leave for discussion on individual issues. i wanted to say a coupling words on the republic of estonia. a long drawn process was
recently the object of a referendum following negotiations between the government of macedonia and the government of greece. they should stake progress toward euro atlantic institutions. an issue that is controversial. this is another -- this is the largest international -- russia, bolivia, and the crisis. sanctions from the european union. it's issues they call back in time, a time of the end of the cold war and the enlargement of nato. the impact of the security impact of nato, they weigh
russia. in a way following the soviet union. and then, the influence of russia itself, and west banks. and the western border is becoming an area where we see that issues are not always elite. it's an external dimension. for the feeling in internal issues. that's where sometimes also minority related questions -- the former yugoslavia.
lines the position it takes, they want if you read the course and if you need also some of the regions outside the capitol, you see there's still segregation in society. in that sense, we have -- we have the potential for the ability, the debates like the one of the name, and the one of the future course of the country can bring back in a way and turn into something that over time might generate -- these are the kind of issues that we work on in the former republic of macedonia. we have a number of problems. we work on education with issues. a dictionary for kids. for primary schoolkids. it's mass done yarks albania.
illustrated because kids have everything. and they can hear by pushing and finding out the words in macedonia, they can read the words in albania, and hear them pronounced and vice versa. we try to support education. if it's a commissioner. even that is a big segregation. there's not enough participation in the community. we need to invest more. these are example of areas where we don't see -- this may
develop. this is in a way the problem also -- we open an environment where we see the crisis. where we would like to invest more on policies that help us prevent the crisis. because there is no crisis yet. so we have a number of push backs. by the countries themselves. nobody wants to hear there may be a crisis. they always say no, don't do -- everything is okay. secondly, the national community, those who invest more in conflict prevention. whatever the crisis, and they put a lot of money. you can try to explain to people, we need to do more to invest in preventing. it sounds good, but it doesn't really produce enough resources. so this is why they're always,
the level of engagement in explaining -- what i was saying in the united nations. it's really important. it's key to do that. the words, an ounce of p prevention, a pound of cure. so that's the feeling in a way, and we tried to work to get more understanding. thank you. >> thank you. >> turn it over. >> the time always goes faster than you think. >> thank you so much, thank you all for coming for inviting me to speak on this. and thank you ambassador for those comments. i think we can agree those were impressive in their breadth in terms of the number of themes you focused on as well as the
wonderful examples you gave, that highlight the importance, the significance and the challenge that's oac and international community faces. i want to offer very brief comments before i ask a couple questions, and i will open it up to the 5ud yens. i want to open those comments using turkey. which i know is a national minority perspective, the osc has challenges in terms of ingauging. >> i was initially fascinated by language in the balkans, the dissolution of yugoslavia. i always became a scholar of
georgia, i was fascinated for a while. it may have been the food, may have been something else, turkey drew my passion. turkey had hired a damage consultant in its bid for u.n. membership, and i thought it was illustrating. what symbols you use, and what history are you portraying. >> 9 reason i want to use turkey as an example. i found so many parallels in terms of just to start with, in terms of the legacies of imperial rule. the legacies of institutions in terms of framing how a country defines national minorities, how it treats them, its policies toward them. what are the conditions of possibility that might open up in terms of new policies toward those minorities. particularly with turkey, in the wake of the collapse, you have the implementation of the
system, which defined communities in terms of religion, ethnicity was not a defining characteristic. you had a muslim majority thanks in part to the practices that we don't intend to engage in any more. defining individuals by the relidge than they were, not the language they spoke. you had muslims who spoke greek being moved into turkey after the treaty. sort of uprooting communities and figure out how do we find sort of contiguous coherent patterns of religion and country irrespective of language and personal relationships and so forth. by using that -- the weakest definition, you lay the groundwork for defining minorities in terms of religious minorities. in turkey, there's no such thing as an ethnic minority.
you have the christian minorities, particularly armenian and greek communities. the jewish community was given minority rights as well. you have a population of about 20% of turkish sid zens who are kurdish and have found their own culture not included in the natural histories that have been told. the institutional legacy that i think we see so much in terms of how russia defines its role in the region and which populations it needs to protect and how it defines threats against those populations, on that sense, we also see turkey engaging in this quite a bit, in terms of nation building in kosovo. in nation building in bosnia. in its own effort to extend the foreign policy reach, particularly under the current government, the justice and development party who i argue has what i call an islamic
understanding of what it means to be turkish, such that being turkish means being a sunni muslim, irrespective of ethnic identities, which as i'll suggest in a second opens up the possibility for outreaches that hadn't existed. but that also prescribes an activist role with turk and muslim populations. the weakers in china, as well as turkish populations in the netherlands, germany, those have been sources of immense confrontation when turkey has not been allowed to campaign for the turkish vote in germany or the netherlands. >> so what's fascinating also is how that can complicate foreign policy, you have a turkey that very much has made outreaches to russia, has a warning relationship with russia, needs chinese economic support. but has push back, because it sees its role as protecting
weakers and so forth. i'm glad you spent a really nice amount of time focusing on that, even though perhaps the priority or one of the main focal points is in conflict me vengs. because i think the role of education in conflict prevention is so incredibly important. and i appreciate that you mentioned this -- the problems with which language to teach, whether we have populations that are separate or not. whether we teach different things. also, from this perspective of politics and memory, the stories that are told, and the stories that aren't told. who are the heroes and who are the internal enemies? these are scenes that are particular not just to turkey, but to other countries as well, and it's something to the point where, this has been perhaps over exaggerated a bit, but to
the point where kurds were told they're not turkish, and they need to get in line and remember they are turkish. with the founding of the turkish republic in 1923, the defining edty with linguistics, being an ethnic population was not a possibility. so that i think is an interesting parallel as well in terms of the stories that are told of who were our allies, who were the internal others and so forth. even if they've been there, irrespective or unrelated to any kind of population transfer. and then lastly, the idea that i think is interesting, and it would be fascinating to know if this is happening in other cases. although i'll suggest with the question about pop lichl that i don't think it is. that you can have an opening of conditions for possibilities for different treatments of minorities. the previous prevailing understanding of turkish
national identity as i define it as republic nationalism. that turkey is western oriented it does not recognize any ethnic minorities because of its leaders, military and political experiences with the rending of the ottoman empire through the balkan wars. they saw nationalism as the enemy. ethnicity didn't exist. but when you have this occurrence party that comes into power, you have a potential for a recognition of kurdish identity, for them, being a sunni muslim is the important character. and the potential for reaching out to kurds becomes a possibility. but then simultaneously, you have sort of a government and a population supporting a government that tends to be anti- -- a religious authority.
it brings its own exclusions of what is acceptable identity to power. so it might be encouraging to think that countries that are moving toward more inclusive diverse understandings of identity might be able to open up to a more diverse definition of society. but it seems as though, and you mentioned this briefly, i'll transfer this into a question. that the rise of pop lichl in countries in which we perhaps saw the seeds of, but in countries in which -- i mean, the afd for example in germany, people have been quite surprised with the amount of support that they have got. in terms of not necessarily just national minorities, but anti-islam and anti-immigration in general. >> one encouraging thing i think, is a focus on education, and a focus on what are the histories that we're telling our children and how are they
learning those. and there's a lot of focus on use that the osce focuses on as well. is the rise of pop lichl potentially curbing those opportunities to try to make sure that these narratives that are being caught in school are more inclusive and so forth. can you speak a little bit on that, whether you want to cover it in general or pick up a particular case? >> yeah, i think what we're facing is a populous measure, the perception of diversity in society. and that is really the parody that tries to be discouraged in a way, diversity can be a source of richness in society. a diverse society is a society in which we can get many things.
how can we invest in that, and how can we turn this into eye factor in the country like the united states. it's particularly relevant. this is a very diverse society. it's proven the diversity is become a factor of development -- what we see is developing. this goes back also to the different issue. the questions that we are being asked by -- and raised by leaders who have -- how can i say it, more nationalistic approach has enough to do with the identities, where are we coming from, where are we going together. the lesson to history. rather than having a question about who are we today?
and how can we -- where are we going today? and i see a lot of tendencies to look back and to try to ident y identify -- identities of societies through history. in a narrow manner, and this, of course pushes out the diversity and becomes -- there is no clearance for the question of what we can do about that, this is what we're facing. so i think the first policy is to debate the issue. as openly as we can. but also to suggest that there are different ways and different
mottos, and one can deal with the challenges of adversity in ways that not necessarily closing the doors. in a way. in balanced manners. through times, i face situations where minorities face lots of expectations, and very often you just hear from them, these are our rights, and they tend to not to see their obligation. when i work. and this is also the protection side of things. of course, there are -- in europe, we have the council in europe, that there's a framework convention on the convention of minorities, a committee that works. we work very closely with them. protection. the rights of minorities, it's the other perspective, the perspective of having a minority
including the society -- investment with the government. but also success, sometimes, this is where each state mentions some of the turkish minorities in europe. it's complicated. because they expect those minorities to be the same kind of access, and forgetting sometimes that there is a need also to -- how can i say, to come to terms also with the fact that they live in a different environment. an environment where they desire, and the laws where the countries design and all that. that is the basis from the kind of continuing engagement. an event can be achieved at the
first level. i think it's important also to continue using the multilateral tools, because there is -- with the stronger accent on nationalistic policies what falls is also an engagement. they're making a deal, the actor, which there is a problem with, there is an issue. and that creates risk in terms of also making sure that the principles we stand behind, the government of national relations may not always be that way. to maintain a multilateral framework is a way to guarantee that these ties we have developed continue to be there.
and assure there's some kind of monitoring by the international communities. continues to be there and continues to apply. >> you still see the prospect of your atlantic institutional generation for the balkans as something that could actually propel movement on these issues? or are both sides tired or frustrated? speaking of multilateral framework, how optimistic that that can propel change. >> prospects of a more active involvement -- they introduce a political agenda. there are those who think it's a very good idea, others that think it's a bad idea. but certainly, countries on their own is never good.
bringing them into constituencies in which there are -- there may be penalties, incentives, it generally is cause an effect. for everybody then, the joys of which community to invest in is something that would have to be taken. in general, i do think it's important to support the process, the presence of the commission yesterday was pointing to the need to make progress in this election. which is a departure from bigger stateme statements. >> if i may ask one question before we open it up, i'd like to pick up on a point you made in your conclusion of your primary remarks. and that had to do with the question of how we can identify
person's belongings to minorities that are likely to turn violent. a lot of us are interested in preventative diplomacy. part of that is identifying early warning signs that conflicts -- that might be taking place. one level might suddenly somehow emerge into violence. one of the most unique aspects of the work of the high commissioner has been your ability to work quietly behind the scenes without any international pressure or much pressure from national governments and so forth. often very much at the local level doing very local diplomacy with the idea of trying to prevent these conflict the from enlarging and becoming more violent. but at some point i remember sitting as an observer in the permanent council in november of 1997 and said, i am giving early
warning kosovo is about to explode. most of the international communities, the national governments represented there went back to their missions and did very little for a while at least. but this was clearly a point where -- i'm sure you've encountered similar situations, recognize that a situation was turning from the point that it could be managed in the kind of way in which the -- your office is able to manage things quietly. when suddenly they do need to get the attention of high level national officials in major countries that have to do something dramatic, conflict intervention is going to work before massive violence breaks out. >> how do you tell the difference? when would you be tested to go to the permanent council? i'm giving you early warning that a situation here is about to explode?
>> there isn't really -- how can i say, a process of a particular rule, you have to -- >> right, i'm asking for your feelings about that. exactly. >> first of all, why diplomacy is additional, the way we engage. it's also a way to ensure government that we are talking about issues that are potentially for them. and we're not going to give an interview for five minutes later. spilling the beans. the things we discuss remain behind closed doors. they give advice and they try to solve the issue as quietly as they can. this is not helping when it comes to conflict development. >> but it's very important. it's really very important.
>> beyond publicizing the guys -- making sure the government has developed secure policies in whichever area, they take into account they get advice that we're getting today. we give advice specifically that autonomously will be able to look at what these -- what is there, what is -- the things that exist and can we draw over in shaping the policies. >> then a number of tools. at some point we can provide the issues to the public. every now and then i gave interviews two or three days ago. so sometimes i go a little bit public. in other cases, i can -- when i
do my bidding, i also fall confidentially -- the uic. find things that are of concern to me. and very often it's not a black and white thing, it's not something that i feel is going to blow up tomorrow. but it's a number of symptoms. and if that changes you need to complaining the policy. and depending on a number of things, the community, on the influence over players. there are many factors to be taken into account. then you may watch the scenarios
which are different. in any case, every -- every few months i go to the permanent council, which is the assembly. we call them participating states, usc. officially -- they're still an organization that half the conference -- >> the country -- let's not legalize it too much. you're shaking, but -- >> so i go there and i talk about countries a, b, c, d. on the west side, my friends are there. and i explain the activities about concerns in respect for another, and then i have discussions with the presenters of the countries. and they push back or may ask for clarification.
there is a constant engagement which at times is behind closed doors, at times it becomes more public. and other players are entering. in relation to the issues that they values levels. and these are all equally important. >> thank you. >> so let's open it for questions from the audience. i don't know, do we have a microphone? >> please identify yourself when you ask a question. and please be sure to pose a question. >> my name is -- yesterday the state department just issues
concern about what's happened before the election. the election is everything. how is the election perceived? a fair election? >> we're a part of the election process. what can result, what are the long term impacts. the future development of the country. >> the way institutions work. >> i was mentioning earlier the
award -- if you engage in the area you will find there are 15 minutes of education. at different levels. the federal level and the level of the entity. it's a comforting environment in which to operate. the power structures have become frozen around this very diver diverse -- in some ways, created for minority communities. the communities don't belong to the key, the founding entities. so i think there is need for
forms for opening. we'll have to judge, of course opinion we'll have to judge. and we'll have to wait for the full results and to wait for the final outcome of the election will be. and play games with the actors. it will be good statements, somehow dealing with things that there is little appetite. >> thank you for the interesting
discussion. and i'm from the country you're interested in originally, i also happened to be a minority representative. i call myself my question to you is, what do you see in minorities themselves, might do, which steps they could take to be integrated themselves not just for the structure to come along, but what they can use to be more involved in the physics, political and social life. what happens if there's no legal structure ready for that process? >> i appreciate it, thank you. >> we were discussing a situation involving the armenian
minorities in the country. again, what issue also there to work -- to open up the system through more investment in multilingual education we have the feeling that the community tendses to remain confined in their own spaces. for this is generally positive, because we have seen for instance the potential conflict. we see that there are issues between minorities in georgia. not to be affected by these.
>> the conclusion. teeth clear, that these minorities feel there are -- you need to invest more on them to try to open doors for them to be more present in society. we were discussing issues of political presentation. and we saw that in some cases they went away with politically. they call on me, there is nothing. >> the investment needs to be made in every area. we also look at longer term policies, and the young people that work best. and we find a better response.
those incentivizing the participation. it's so important to do with the growth of the opportunities. and certainly that's in a country like georgia, i will say everywhere. is essential. so i would moderately optimistic when i came back many and they found that georgia resected. >> thank you very much for your comprehensive remarks.
professor huffman asked you about the role of your office in countries that have a propensity and conflict. i want to ask you about the exact opposite end of the spectrum. what about about countries -- i'll give some examples, can you speak generically, you don't want to take them apart. let's say spain and catalan, the u.k. and scotland. canada and quebec. these are highly industrialized countries. canada we know has gone -- taken extensive steps to address the concerns of the quebec wand. what about countries that seem to be really following these
guidelines. and yet there's still a march toward separatism and complaint about the adequacy of this. does your office ever not just address the state, but the minority involved and say, we have to be reasonable here, please? >> by all means. i find it healthy for us not to single out only a few areas, even though we invest more in areas that experience conflict because we don't want to see the conflict reemerge. but yes, we look for the canadians -- the french language commissioner. we're planning an event for next year. with the spanish authority, we have the use of language,
experiences. but which might be -- if i look at catalonia, the issue is education balancing in the region. it may be one of the factors, but we completely develop -- focusing on best practices on education released. is how they applied. spanish agency could be -- it's something we are discussing. but there is also a broader issue. integration balance in the society is key. and we look at conflicts. we have a very broad -- a security is security that is not only related to traditional -- security is also looking at the ability of the issues that may
produce. and these very often are related to integration in the society. if you have segregation of parts of the population. frustrations because of economic marginalization. and these factors, you create time for radicalization. and that can create some other problems. we need those to start focusing on the issues. and the policies we promote, the policies on conclusion are very relevant. so the direction in which you're moving is one that results at developments across the board.
in every country. and we have a couple questions to ask. >> i ask them everywhere. and also here. thank you. >> gentlemen in the light bluejacket. >> thank you very much for engaging remarks. my name is -- i have two questions if you could engage in both at least briefly. first you mentioned learning language practicing in society as a necessary requirement for positive impacts of minorities integration. and i would like to ask you about this fine line between a simulation and integration when one becomes the other. and as a flip side of that question. when can we fairly judge that
minorities have in fact you is suggestionist ideas. and in fact does not want to integrate? and my second question is, you mentioned youth involvement as an important factor. however, just to be a little cynical and ask about the rules of the game in certain countries despite millions of dollars that are put into youth engagement, those 16 to 24-year-olds once they grow up and start being elected into those parliaments or position. have to abide by those games. and stop having those -- >> on the first question. the balance i described earlier should be between making sure that policies on education first
of all don't result in diminishing in the way they culturally do. the other side of the coin is to ensure that they really have -- minorities have every possibility to fully integrate into society. they have any chance to play any role in the society to which they belong. an excessive access can make local -- tendencies of pushing back in a way from the larger integration. and that presents the majorities
leaving those areas. that's also where we need to push back. where we see the local autonomy is going too far. because that's the recipe for problems down the line. and sometimes it's very difficult. because this is a result of compromises in some cases, we see especially when we have knees changes. and we see certain communities really push back on integration. a special arrangement. those very special arrangements in the end prolong the problem. so that's where it needs to have the infer national community engaged in the same direction. the main obstacles to believe that. because you find different actors playing different -- or
advocating different policies. the government, some of the problems we face today -- certainly when it comes to integration. some of the challenges from the secretary-general of the u.n. require long term strategy. and the best -- the most interesting clients for those are young people. so i think we -- it's important to keep trying to empower young people. it is a challenge also for me. whenever i can, i reach out to young people to try to motivate them on these subjects. we can -- there is a limit to how much we can assist them
and -- because we obviously try to promote the mainstream youth. the policies in the organization -- the political environment we've also push them in that direction hoping every now and then one of them will come best of the best. there are many ways and we don't have structures-- people have structures everywhere here
and their constituency but there are also groups of networks of young people so we tried to keep them involved. we always try to bring one of the young people to speak so their voice can be heard. we are part of that.>> we have 10 minutes left. let's take three questions. make your questions? please. >> thank you. i'm the representative-- i'm from the representative office of-- and i would like to ask about minority increases that have not been recognized. i was wondering what is the
osce doing to address the 100 year denial in order to address feelings of injustice? they are actually reflected in the present of send-- sunday's boycott of the referendum by the majority of the republican macedonians. essentially they are afraid that the same policies are applied to their country in this agreement. >> please keep your questions short. >> a course in the scandinavian
country minority rights and land rights are connected to economic interest state and private interest. i'm wondering if you have a relationship between interest and economic interest in whether you have any act best recommendations not only for minorities but government businesses furthering minority rights. get in the middle here. george? >> i'm a student at the american university so focusing on foreign-policy. he is a member-- a member of the european union so what are you
doing to bring ethnic groups together or-- >> thank you. run me through the issues. the question of macedonian minority and grace i've discussed recently with my colleagues focusing on that. i confess i have not visited greece yet and have not spoken on the basis of this minority but i can assure you that my office is well aware of it. we will also look into that and be selective in the way we address issues. the colleagues from sweden, we
will be marking in a few months the recommendations for participation. it was not well developed in the recommendations we had so this is something i've identified myself as a key idea. that's where i want to go next. i want to look at it better. i'm bringing this up because i travel and i see that sometimes one of the programs with minorities is related to the economic situation. if you look at some of the success stories, it's one of the richest parts of italy so coming to a settlement there
and the basis for further economic development, using those models in looking at experiences, i also recently visited german minorities were also economic faster-- economic factors to accept balance and accept arrangements. on both sides of the border-- is also a good starting point for the integration of the community. i think we have quite a few
models that can be used in the developing further the work of those recommendations. we are not going to interfere.. this does not mean we are ignoring you. the one before, it was engaging on two sides. they've been working also on lexicon. common words on two sides of the divide to bring community together and looking at how easily there can
be an element, my perspective-- trying to show the perspectives to the other side and then of course letting people choose in their understanding if it is obtained very substantially. >> thank you very much for this informative session this afternoon. i think it's important that more people in the united states and other countries get to know about a way of presenting at least some problems which never make it to
headlines. we focus on crises and conflicts that make it to the headlines and the ones that could dealt with earlier are often the ones that are most successful. people on the other parts of the world also have an idea of how this may be applied to some of the contracts where high diplomacy creates for the consist-- constituents and it can really make a difference. i think you very much for being with us this afternoon.