OSCE High Commissioner welcomes inter-state dialogue in central Asia 28 Nov 2006
On 28 November, the OSCE High Commissioner on National Minorities welcomed the inter-state dialogue on minority education in Central Asia.

On 28 November 2006, the Organisation for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE) High Commissioner on National Minorities, Rolf Ekeus, welcomed the inter-state dialogue on minority education in four central Asian states - Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan.

The OSCE High Commissioner addressed an International Conference on “the challenge of educational reform in Multi-ethnic Central Asia” in Tashkent, Uzbekistan. Representatives of Afghanistan, the Russian Federation and Turkmenistan also participated in the conference. Rolf Ekeus said that he saw the dialogue between the states in central Asia on minority education not only as an expression of their common historic, demographic, social, economic, political and cultural heritage, but also as a positive contribution to the issue of comprehensive security.

He also stressed the importance of the Hague Regulations Regarding the Educational Rights of National Minorities, made by a group of internationally recognised experts in 1996. The essence of these recommendations is the right of persons belonging to national minorities to maintain their identity through acquiring a proper knowledge of their mother tongue during the educational process. On the other hand, persons belonging to national minorities should integrate into the national society through the acquisition of a proper knowledge of the State language.

The four central Asian states agreed to establish four working groups on the issues of curriculum and textbook development, language teaching, teacher training and in-service training, as well as distance learning and information technology.

Press release
Speech of Rolf Ekeus

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