OSCE High Commissioner on National Minorities
National minorities in inter-State relations
Almost every country has minorities, many of them belonging to communities that cross state borders. These communities can serve as a bridge and contribute to friendly relations, but the potential for tension can also exist, especially when states claim protection of their “kin” abroad, making these issues a matter of legitimate international concern. Although the primary responsibility for protecting minority rights lies with the state within which they reside, minority issues often engage the interest of more than one state. In such cases, the High Commissioner addresses issues not only within, but also between, states. The High Commissioner recommends that states resolve such issues on the basis of friendly and good neighbourly relations.