OSCE Parliamentary Assembly, Ottawa Declaration (1995) (excerpts)



OTTAWA, 4 - 8 JULY 1995

The Parliamentary Assembly of the OSCE, meeting in Ottawa from 4 to 8 July 1995,

adopts the following resolutions:




The OSCE Parliamentary Assembly,




31. Recalls the commitments under the 1992 Helsinki Document not to increase statelessness;

32. Affirms that citizenship may only be extended or bestowed by a State subject to the consent of the individual concerned;

33. Calls on the participating States to give equal rights to individuals as citizens, not as members of a particular national or ethnic group. Accordingly, they should ensure that all citizens be accorded equal respect and consideration in their constitutions, legislation and administration and that there be no subordination, explicit or implied, on the basis of ethnicity, national origin, race, or religion; further calls on the participating States to acknowledge that citizenship itself is based on a genuine and effective link between a population and a territory and should not be based on race or ethnicity and must be consistent with the state's international obligations in the field of human rights;

34. Urges that, upon a change in sovereignty, all persons who have a genuine and effective link with a new State should acquire the citizenship of that State;

35. Calls on the Secretary General of the OSCE to monitor, country by country, the points mentioned in paragraph 29 above, in cooperation with the OSCE High Commissioner on National Minorities, and to inform the Assembly accordingly;

36. Acknowledges, in view of the integration of national minorities in civic societies, the importance of local and regional administrative arrangements which take into account the specific needs of national minorities at local and regional levels, as well as the importance of developing administrative systems, such as the Ombudsman institution, for dealing with individual complaints by citizens at the national level;

37. Calls on the OSCE to share information and establish closer working relations with the Council of Europe and other appropriate pan-European structures, with the aim of achieving co-operative arrangements for the protection of national minorities in order to avoid any overlapping and duplication of work;

38. Welcomes the increased attention paid by the OSCE to the problems of discrimination and intolerance faced by Roma and Sinti communities and individuals in particular within the participating States of the OSCE, and pledges to support initiatives which will help to eliminate these problems.