In this book Max van der Stoel shares his knowledge and experience with you on how to promote interethnic harmony, prevent ethnic conflict, and build cohesive States. The thoughts in this book, drawn from his speeches while serving as the first OSCE High Commissioner on National Minorities (HCNM) 1993–2001, reflect his experience helping States and communities apply OSCE principles to difficult minority situations, and build the processes and institutions needed to deal with often contentious interethnic issues on their own.
Chapters 1 and 2 address the problem of interethnic tensions, and solutions found through practical experience. Chapter 3 addresses how the international community can help reduce interethnic tensions. Chapter 4 discusses the OSCE principles on which Mr. Van der Stoel based his work, and includes a particular focus on the OSCE’s “human dimension,” which consists of the OSCE States’ commitment to ensure full respect for individual rights and fundamental freedoms; abide by the rule of law; promote the principles of democracy; and build, strengthen, and protect democratic institutions. Chapter 5 concludes with his thoughts for the future.