NATO Parliamentary Assembly
HomeDOCUMENTSPolicy Recommendations200515 November 2005, Copenhagen, Denmark - RESOLUTION on THE PROTECTION AND INTEGRATION OF MINORITIES AS A CONTRIBUTION TO STABILITY IN THE SOUTH CAUCASUS

RESOLUTION 335 on THE PROTECTION AND INTEGRATION OF MINORITIES AS A CONTRIBUTION TO STABILITY IN THE SOUTH CAUCASUS

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* presented by the Committee on the Civil Dimension of Security

The Assembly,

1. Reaffirming it's strong commitment to peace and stability in the South Caucasus;

2. Recalling that the Atlantic Alliance has decided at the 2004 summit of Heads of States and Government in Istanbul to put "a special focus on engaging with our Partners in the strategically important regions of the Caucasus and Central Asia";

3. Convinced that the protection and integration of national and religious minorities is a key contribution to peace and stability;

4. Recognizing that the countries of the South Caucasus have undergone important demographic changes since their independence, which have sometimes led to greater vulnerability and isolation of minority populations;

5. Commending the encouraging measures taken by the governments and parliaments of Armenia, Azerbaijan and Georgia towards the protection and integration of minorities;

6. Noting, however, that further efforts are needed to ensure the integration and protection of minorities in the region according to international standards;

7. Reaffirming that adequate protection for persons belonging to national and religious minorities is an integral part of the protection of human rights;

8. Convinced, therefore, that the efficient protection and integration of minorities are an important indicator of a government's commitment to democracy and political stability;
 
9. Stressing that, as major electoral processes and constitutional and political reforms are currently under way in Armenia, Azerbaijan and Georgia, measures should be taken to ensure that these processes are transparent and democratic and guarantee an adequate participation of minority groups;

10. Insisting also that conflicts in Abkhazia, South Ossetia and Nagorno-Karabakh are fundamental obstacles to peace and stability in the region, as well as direct or indirect sources of tension in relations between majority and minority groups;

11. Convinced, therefore, of the strong link between the resolution of conflicts in the three regions and the adequate protection and integration of minorities according to international standards;

12. Persuaded that the promotion of regional and other multilateral initiatives such as the Sochi arrangements (2003) can help reinforce mutual confidence and tolerance, particularly in the case of societies that have been torn apart by conflicts, as well as address common challenges in relation to the situation of minority groups;


13. URGES governments and parliaments of Armenia, Azerbaijan and Georgia:

a. to take the necessary steps to fully implement major international instruments for the protection of minorities, including, in particular, the Council of Europe Framework Convention for the Protection of National Minorities and the European Charter for Regional and Minority Languages;

b. to take the necessary steps to define, in accordance with their respective international obligations, a clear and coherent political strategy with regard to minorities in consultation with them;

c. to adopt and implement programmes to promote the political, economic and social integration of persons belonging to religious and national minorities, and to guarantee adequate conditions for the preservation of minority cultures, religions and languages, as key factors to building peaceful, open and tolerant societies;

d. to facilitate, in particular, the access by persons belonging to minorities to political and administrative positions in the parliament and in national and local administrations;

e. to commit fully to the peaceful resolution of the conflicts in Abkhazia, South Ossetia and Nagorno-Karabakh and to support fully ongoing regional and international efforts to this effect, in particular, in the framework of the OSCE Minsk Group, the Group of Friends of the Secretary General, and the Joint Control Commission;

f. to intensify programmes for political, legal, social and economic reform, as part of their commitments to international institutions, including NATO;

g. to encourage initiatives to improve the condition of displaced persons and refugees in the South Caucasus region to help build confidence between societies;


14. URGES governments and parliaments of member and partner countries of the North Atlantic Alliance:

a. to encourage initiatives aiming at building confidence within and between societies in the South Caucasus region;

b. to integrate, whenever possible, the issue of protection and integration of minorities in their bilateral and multilateral relations with the countries of the South Caucasus;

c. to support, to the extent of their possibilities and competencies, efforts undertaken by the governments and parliaments in the region, together with international institutions, for the peaceful resolution of conflicts in Abkhazia, South Ossetia and Nagorno-Karabakh;

d. to continue the fruitful dialogue within the Assembly as an excellent forum for promoting confidence and mutual trust.

 

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