HC Deb 30 June 1993 vol 227 c497W
Mr. David Atkinson

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs which conference on security and co-operation in Europe mechanisms have been used to resolve the ethnic conflict in(a) Azerbaijan, (b) Bosnia-Herzegovina, (c) Croatia, (d) Georgia, (e) Moldavia. (f) Tajikistan and (g) Uzbekistan; and if he will make a statement.

Mr. Douglas Hogg

The CSCE committee of senior officials (CSO) dispatched fact-finding missions to Azerbaijan in February and March 1992 to report on the situation in and around Nagorno-Karabakh. In March 1992, the CSCE council provided for negotiations among the interested parties on a ceasefire and a settlement to the conflict, which have come to be known as the "Minsk Process". The CSCE recently secured agreement from all parties to a ceasefire monitoring mission. Negotiations continue in order to secure its deployment.

In 1991, the CSCE mandated the European Community to lead the search for a solution to the problems in former Yugoslavia. The CSO has also sent rapporteur missions to investigate human rights abuses.

The CSO has had a resident mission in Georgia since December 1992 to promote negotiations between conflicting parties in south Ossetia. A similar mission went to Moldova in April 1993 to assist in negotiations on the status of the Trans-Dniester area and the withdrawal of Russian troops.

In Tajikistan a CSCE representative has been appointed to liaise with the United Nations and to recommend future action by CSCE. No special measures have been taken in respect of Uzbekistan. The chairman-in-office visited it during a tour of the five central Asian states and the CSO is now acting on several recommendations designed to achieve closer integration of these countries in the activities of CSCE.

The CSCE should continue these and other efforts to prevent conflict by monitoring human rights and undertaking preventive diplomacy. The high commissioner on national minorities also plays an important role by identifying and seeking to defuse ethnic tensions which may develop into conflict.

Forward to