Statement in response to the report from the High Commissioner on National Minorities

As delivered by Counsellor Marit Lillealtern at the Permanent Council, Vienna, 8 December 2022.

Mr. Chair,

I join others in welcoming the High Commissioner on National Minorities, Ambassador Abdrakhmanov, back to the Permanent Council and thank him for his comprehensive report.

We appreciate the Commissioner’s continued efforts in improving sustainable integration of diverse and multi-ethnic societies, while preserving the respective ethnic identity of communities concerned.

The role of the HCNM in identifying, de-politicizing and addressing causes of ethnic tensions involving national minority issues is of utmost importance. We share the HCNM’s concern regarding the serious dangers of exploiting minority issues, as we have seen Russia misusing them attempting to justify its brutal military aggression against Ukraine.

We need The High Commissioner to be engaged and to use the tools at his disposal to the best for the war-affected population, in Ukraine and elsewhere. At the same time, we respect the value of silent diplomacy and confidentiality. This work method has proven both wise and efficient over the years.

Mr. Chair,

In closing, let me reiterate Norway’s full support to the HCNM’s mandate and gratitude to you, Ambassador Abdrakhmanov, for continuing your important work under demanding circumstances. Let me also seize the opportunity to extend our support to your staff and their valuable contributions to your work.

Thank you.