OSCE Marks 10 Years of the Ljubljana Guidelines

PeopleOther ♦ Published: September 6, 2022; 23:21 ♦ (Vindobona)

The OSCE High Commissioner on National Minorities (HCNM) established the Ljubljana Guidelines on Integration of Diverse Societies 10 years ago to address challenges associated with managing integration processes in diverse societies. Today marks the 10th anniversary of this comprehensive set of guidelines.

OSCE High Commissioner on National Minorities Kairat Abdrakhmanov delivers opening remarks at the 10th Anniversary Conference of the Ljubljana Guidelines on Integration of Diverse Societies. / Picture: © OSCE / Bor Slana (CC BY-ND 4.0)

It was almost exactly 10 years ago, on 7 November 2012, that Knut Vollebaek presented the Guidelines with these words, “All OSCE participating States are multi-ethnic. Living together with people of different cultures, ethnicities and religions is not a matter of choice; it is a fact of life. It is up to us to make the best of it.”

An event marking the anniversary of the Ljubljana Guidelines was held by the HCNM in Ljubljana today, bringing together experts, policymakers, practitioners and ambassadors from participating countries.

OSCE High Commissioner on National Minorities Kairat Abdrakhmanov said, “The key takeaway from the Ljubljana Guidelines comes back to one single point: that society as a whole, not just one specific group, benefits from diversity and integration policies."

In addition to discussing the ongoing relevance of the Guidelines, successes and challenges of implementation, lessons learned, and ways to implement them more effectively to complement the HCNM's ongoing efforts to integrate diverse societies, they discussed how to better operationalize them.

Opening the conference, High Commissioner Abdrakhmanov stated, “I hope that today’s event will catalyze us not only to reflect on and learn from the past but also to recognize that respecting and effectively governing diversity within our society is vital for our future.”

The Anniversary Conference is supported by and organized in cooperation with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Slovenia.

Ljubljana Guidelines

Based on the knowledge and experience of the HCNM and international experts, the Ljubljana Guidelines were published in 2012 as guidelines to help OSCE participating states integrate diverse societies.

According to the OSCE, among the most frequently used guidelines by successive High Commissioners, the Ljubljana Guidelines remain relevant today as well.