The UN's High Commissioner for Human Rights stated how "minorities enrich the diversity of one society". Respect for minority rights assists in achieving stable and prosperous societies, in which human rights, development and security are achieved and shared by all. Trouble is minorities often face different forms of discrimination, which may ultimately result in their marginalisation and exclusion. Our region, unfortunately, provides no exception in this regard.
One way to prevent this from happening is - promoting and implementing international human rights standards. For instance, the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Persons Belonging to National or Ethnic, Religious and Linguistic Minorities is the document which sets essential standards and offers guidance to States in adopting appropriate legislative and other measures to secure the rights of persons belonging to minorities.
Strong impetus for promotion and protection, as well as inclusion of minorities into all fields of public life should be provided by the process of European integration, which observes each candidate (and potential candidate) country progress through a set of criteria; ending in a complex chapter-by-chapter negotiation process.
The application of majority rule and protection of minority rights relies on a set of rules agreed to by everyone in a political community. Yet, the normative framework should be understood only as one necessary element to ensure integrated societies and to promote social inclusion and cohesion. Choosing the best model, framework, institutional solution - is what we will be discussing this June in Prishtina, with guests from academia and policy circles.