On 11 April the OSCE High Commissioner on National Minorities (HCNM) Ambassador Lamberto Zannier met students and faculty of the OSCE Academy and delivered a lecture about the functions of the HCNM and its approaches to work with minority issues. Ambassador Zannier highlighted that the HCNM has a special conflict prevention mandate and performs early warning functions. The High Commissioner approaches minority issues comprehensively and, among many other spheres of responsibility, works on minorities and mass media, representation of minorities in the decision making and police forces, minorities’ access to justice as well as state and minority languages. Special attention is given to education as “Education is often underestimated as a tool to deal with minority issues and help them integrate, though education and language are the two important tools that allow minorities to become the members of society fully -” (Ambassador Zannier).
The presentation was followed by a round of questions from students about career development opportunities in international organization's structures, the OSCE HCNM’s role during the conflict in the South of Kyrgyzstan in 2010, and activities of the High Commissioner related to migration. The Ambassador also handed over copies of guidelines and recommendations developed by HCNM to students.
This was the second visit of Ambassador Lamberto Zannier to the OSCE Academy within a year. His first visit was held on 13 June 2017 within the framework of his official visit to Kyrgyzstan as the OSCE Secretary General.