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Research Report

OSCE Principles in Practice:: Testing Their Effect on Security Through the Work of Max van der Stoel, First High Commissioner on National Minorities 1993–2001

M. Merrick Yamamoto
Copyright Date: Sep. 1, 2017
Pages: 140
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Table of Contents

  1. (pp. 1-7)

    The problem of achieving national and international security has been a compelling concern of governments for a very long time, and many approaches and theories have been tried. One new approach began in 1975 when the Heads of State or Governments of thirty-five North American and European States signed the Helsinki Final Act and thereby established the OSCE.

    The Act contained a number of commitments to which all of the OSCE participating States had agreed; however, two aspects were particularly significant. First, by signing the Act, the States committed themselves to follow the Helsinki Decalogue, a set of ten principles...

  2. (pp. 8-26)

    This chapter traces the emergence of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) as an organization with political and moral authority, and the creation of the position of the OSCE High Commissioner on National Minorities (HCNM) in response to the reemergence of ethnic tensions as a source of conflict in Europe. The chapter then addresses the position of the HCNM, including the selection of the first incumbent, the tools available to him in fulfilling his responsibilities as HCNM, his working methods, and his accomplishments.

    After World War II, Europe was essentially divided into three groups of States: the...

  3. (pp. 27-45)

    This chapter presents the results of Phase I of the study: the identification, articulation, and documentation of the OSCE security principles. This step was required because the High Commissioner on National Minorities (HCNM) relied on these principles when making his recommendations; however, the principles were not stated explicitly in any one document, but rather in a series of documents adopted by the States.

    Content analysis of selected OSCE documents revealed twenty security principles in effect from 1993 to 2001. These principles can be divided into three groups: principles guiding relations between OSCE States; principles guiding the protection and promotion of...

  4. (pp. 46-55)

    In 1992 Ukraine was the second largest country in Europe in terms of area (604,000 square kilometers), and the fifth largest in terms of population (52 million). Ukraine had significant natural resources, and during the Soviet era had produced about half of the total Soviet output of coal and iron ore, and over a quarter of the agricultural output. Ukraine was also highly involved with the Soviet military, industrial, and space complex, and maintained the third largest number of nuclear weapons in the world.¹

    After having been part of Russia for two centuries, Ukraine declared its independence in December 1991...

  5. (pp. 56-70)

    In 1992 Estonia was a small country of about 45,000 square kilometers and 1.6 million people, located on the Baltic Sea across from Finland, and next to Russia and Latvia. World War I and the Russian Revolution created the conditions in which the Estonians, among other peoples, could achieve independence from Russia. In 1917 the Russian government was in increasing disarray—the Tsar’s abdication in March was followed by a Provisional Government until the Bolsheviks seized power in November—and Estonia proclaimed its independence in February 1918. The Bolshevik government attempted to reconquer Estonia but was unsuccessful, and in 1918...

  6. (pp. 71-85)

    In 1991 Macedonia was a small, landlocked country in southeastern Europe (about 25,000 square kilometers and 2 million people), sharing borders with Greece, Bulgaria, Serbia, and Albania. Before the twentieth century Macedonia had comprised a much larger area, but had been partitioned in 1913 among Greece (51 percent), Serbia (39 percent), Bulgaria (9 percent), and Albania (1 percent).¹ After World War II, the Serbian part became one of the six constituent republics of Yugoslavia (Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatia, Macedonia, Montenegro, Serbia, and Slovenia). In 1991, during the period of great change that took place in the Soviet Union and Eastern...

  7. (pp. 86-93)

    The purpose of this study was to use the work of the first High Commissioner on National Minorities (HCNM) to test whether or not the implementation of OSCE principles had a significant effect on security in the OSCE area. To answer this question, the study addressed two research questions:

    What OSCE security principles were in effect during the first High Commissioner on National Minorities’ 1993–2001 tenure?

    Did the implementation of the OSCE security principles contained in the first HCNM’s recommendations have any significant effect on security?

    To answer these questions, the study first extracted from official OSCE documents a...