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Astrid Thors nominated as OSCE High Commissioner on National Minorities - Embassy of Finland, Vilnius : Current Affairs


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News, 7/19/2013

Astrid Thors nominated as OSCE High Commissioner on National Minorities

Astrid Thors nominated as OSCE High Commissioner on National Minorities. Photo: Eero Kuosmanen

MP, Master of Laws Astrid Thors has been nominated as the OSCE High Commissioner on National Minorities. The Ministerial Council of the 57 OSCE participating States nominated the new High Commissioner as of August 20th, 2013, for a three-year term.

The High Commissioner on National Minorities (HCNM) is an instrument of conflict prevention. The HCNM aims to prevent and de-escalate tensions involving national minority issues in the OSCE area. The High Commissioner’s work is characterized by quiet diplomacy and support to the cooperation between different parties. The goal is to address tensions at the earliest possible stage. The HCNM may also, if needed, draw the attention of the OSCE participating States to particular worrisome developments.

The tasks of the HCNM were agreed upon by the OSCE participating states in 1992. The office of the HCNM is located in The Hague. Astrid Thors succeeds Knut Vollebaek of Norway as the High Commissioner.

Astrid Thors has a strong international background on minority issues as well as on the development of immigration and refugee policies at the national and at the EU level. Ms Thors has been a Member of the Parliament of Finland since 2004. From 2007 to 2011 she served as the Minister of Migration and European Affairs of Finland. Between 1996 and 2004 she was a Member of the European Parliament.

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Updated 7/19/2013

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