7 December 1994

Doc. 7201

COMMUNICATION FROM THE COMMITTEE OF MINISTERS

Interim reply to Recommendations 1134 (1990) and 1177 (1992) on the rights of minorities and to Recommendation 1201 (1993) on an additional protocol on the rights of national minorities to the European Convention on Human Rights

(adopted by the Committee of Ministers at the 521st meeting of the Ministers' Deputies from 22 to 24 November 1994)


      The Committee of Ministers recalls the interim replies to Recommendation 1134 (1990) which it addressed to the Parliamentary Assembly at the 449th (November-December 1990) and at the 465th (November 1991) meetings of the Deputies as well as the interim reply to Recommendation 1177 (1992) which it addressed to the Assembly at the 473rd meeting of the Deputies (April 1992).

      At the Vienna Summit in October 1993, the Heads of State and Government instructed the Committee of Ministers to draft with minimum delay a framework Convention specifying the principles which contracting States commit themselves to respect in order to assure the protection of national minorities and to begin work on drafting a Protocol complementing the European Convention on Human Rights in the cultural field by provisions guaranteeing individual rights, in particular for persons belonging to national minorities. The Committee of Ministers accordingly set up the Ad Hoc Committee for the protection of national minorities (CAHMIN) assigning to it the preparation of these two legal texts.

      Between January and November 1994 both the CAHMIN and the Deputies worked intensively. This allowed the Committee of Ministers to adopt, at its 95th Session (10 November 1994), the framework Convention for the protection of national minorities and to decide its opening for signature during the first part of the 1995 Session of the Parliamentary Assembly (January-February 1995). Moreover, the Committee of Ministers authorised the publication of the Explanatory Report to the framework Convention.

      Furthermore, in their Final Communiqué, the Ministers reiterated their determination to ensure the continuation and completion of drafting a Protocol complementing the European Convention on Human Rights in the cultural field by provisions guaranteeing individual rights, in particular for persons belonging to national minorities.

      Once the first part of its terms of reference had been executed, the CAHMIN started the elaboration of the draft additional Protocol.

      The Committee of Ministers shall keep the Parliamentary Assembly regularly informed of the evolution of the work concerning the elaboration of the above mentioned Protocol.