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Special Max van der Stoel issue of Security and Human Rights to be presented

Emma Oosten
Analysis 10 October 2011

On the 24th of October, a 180 pages special issue of the journal Security and Human Rights (SHR) will be presented, honouring the life and work of the late Max van der Stoel, who passed away earlier this year. The issue contains never before published personal recollections of distinguished authors who were affected by Van der Stoel’s work. Among the authors are Her Majesty Queen Beatrix of the Netherlands, Danilo Turk (President of Slovenia), Peter Kooijmans (former Foreign Minister of the Netherlands) and Knut Vollebaek (former Foreign Minister of Norway and the present HCNM). The special issue offers unique insights in many aspects of the multifaceted work of Max van der Stoel that have largely remained outside the public domain so far.

In the late 1980s, van der Stoel joined the newly founded Netherlands Helsinki Committee (NHC) as a board member and later as chairman. The NHC publishes Security and Human Rights four times a year. This special issue of SHR is put together by editors who worked closely with Max van der Stoel, both at the NHC, and at the office of the HCNM.

Max van der Stoel was a tireless defender of human rights, amongst others in his capacity of OSCE High Commissioner on National Minorities (HCNM). Van der Stoel was the first person to hold this position and on the 24th October, this special issue of Security and Human Rights will be launched at the HCNM “Max van der Stoel Award” ceremony. In 1992/1993, after a distinguished career as a Dutch politician and diplomat, Van der Stoel became the first High Commissioner on National Minorities for the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe. He was known as the quiet diplomat operating behind the scenes to prevent conflict and discreetly solve problems. He was successful when nothing happened. As one observer put it, he kept the dogs from barking.

On 24th October, Mr. Knut Vollebaek, the OSCE High Commissioner on National Minorities will present the “Max van der Stoel Award” to the Nansen Dialogue Centre Skopje for extraordinary and outstanding achievements in improving the position of national minorities in the OSCE participating States. The award was established in 2001 by the Ministry for Foreign Affairs of the Netherlands to honour Max van der Stoel. This years’ award ceremony will include a special tribute to Max van der Stoel, and the launch of the Max van der Stoel issue of Security and Human Rights.

For more information on the SHR special issue see: press release

For more information on the HCNM Max van der Stoel Award Ceremony see: HCNM website

For more information on the Nansen Dialogue Centre Skopje see: press information note

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