Press release 153/2013
17 July 2013
MP, Master of Laws Astrid Thors has been nominated as the OSCE High Commissioner on National Minorities. The Ministerial Council of the 57 OSCE participating States nominated the new High Commissioner as of August 20th, 2013, for a three-year term.The Ministerial Council of the 57 OSCE participating States nominated the new High Commissioner as of August 20th, 2013, for a three-year term.
The High Commissioner on National Minorities (HCNM) is an instrument of conflict prevention. The HCNM aims to prevent and de-escalate tensions involving national minority issues in the OSCE area. The High Commissioner’s work is characterized by quiet diplomacy and support to the cooperation between different parties. The goal is to address tensions at the earliest possible stage. The HCNM may also, if needed, draw the attention of the OSCE participating States to particular worrisome developments.
The tasks of the HCNM were agreed upon by the OSCE participating states in 1992. The office of the HCNM is located in The Hague. Astrid Thors succeeds Knut Vollebaek of Norway as the High Commissioner.
Astrid Thors has a strong international background on minority issues as well as on the development of immigration and refugee policies at the national and at the EU level. Ms Thors has been a Member of the Parliament of Finland since 2004. From 2007 to 2011 she served as the Minister of Migration and European Affairs of Finland. Between 1996 and 2004 she was a Member of the European Parliament.
More information: Päivi Harju-Heikkilä, Press Attaché to the Minister for Foreign Affairs of Finland, tel. +358 40 749 2687, Ms Katja Perhman, Chief of Foreign Minister’s Cabinet, tel. +358 40 181 9257 and Ambassador Timo Kantola, Permanent representative of Finland to the OSCE, tel. +43 676 848 350 350