On the Appointment of the OSCE High Commissioner on National Minorities

Interpretative Statement on the Appointment of the OSCE High Commissioner on National Minorities pursuant to IV.I(A)6 of the OSCE Rules of Procedure

As delivered by Chargé d’Affaires, a.i. Kate M. Byrnes
to the Permanent Council, Vienna
July 20, 2017

Thank you, Mr. Chair.

In connection with the adoption of the Decision for 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 appointment of Ambassador Lamberto Zannier. 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 exercise of his or her mandate.

Finally, the United States underscores that it is the OSCE participating States which have adopted our 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.

Thank you, Mr. Chair.