Interpretative Statement on the Ministerial Council Decision on the Extension of the Appointment of the OSCE High Commissioner on National Minorities

The United States welcomes the extension of the term of High Commission on National Minorities Kairat Abdrakhmanov. (OSCE Photo)

Interpretative Statement on the Ministerial Council Decision on the Extension of the Appointment of the OSCE High Commissioner on National Minorities

As delivered by Ambassador Michael R. Carpenter
to the OSCE Ministerial Council, Skopje, North Macedonia
December 1, 2023

In connection with the adoption of the decision on the appointment of the OSCE High Commissioner on National Minorities (HCNM), the United States would like to make the following interpretative statement under paragraph IV.1(A)6 of the OSCE Rules of Procedure.  

The United States welcomes the extension of the term of High Commission on National Minorities Kairat Abdrakhmanov.  While we joined consensus on this decision as an exceptional temporary measure in the interest of ensuring continued leadership of the OSCE, this should have been a regular three-year extension.  This decision does not set a precedent for future appointments or extensions of the term of the HCNM.  

We fully respect the autonomy and support the work of the HCNM. Unfortunately, in recent years, there has been pressure from some participating States to weaken the OSCE’s autonomous institutions and cut resources for them. Nothing in this decision should be interpreted to diminish the autonomy of or restrict the work of the High Commissioner on National Minorities in the full exercise of his or her mandate.  

Finally, the United States underscores that it is the OSCE participating States which have adopted the OSCE’s principles, commitments and decisions and it is first and foremost the responsibility of participating States to implement them. 

 I request that this interpretative statement be attached to the decision and that it be included in the journal of the day.  

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