OSCE High Commissioner on National Minorities
The mandate describes the institution as “an instrument of conflict prevention at the earliest possible stage.” This involves containing and de-escalating tensions involving national minorities within the OSCE area and alerting the Organization to risks by providing early warning and early action where a situation has the potential to turn into a conflict. Two formal “early warnings”, as defined in the mandate, have been issued: on the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia in 1999 and on Kyrgyzstan in 2010. The High Commissioner does not require the approval of the Permanent Council or of the state concerned to get involved. She acts in confidence and independently of all parties concerned, although speeches, news and publications are available to the public. She does not deal with individual cases or situations involving organized acts of terrorism, or communicate with any person or organization that practices or publicly condones terrorism or violence.