High Commissioner on National Minorities (OSCE HCNM)

The High Commissioner on National Minorities (HCNM), Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE)

The High Commissioner on National Minorities heads an institution of the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE). The post was created in 1992 to identify and seek the early resolution of ethnic tensions that could endanger peace, stability or friendly relations between the 57 OSCE participating States.

The first High Commissioner was the Dutch Minister of State Max van der Stoel. The post is currently held by the fifth High Commissioner, Lamberto Zannier of Italy.

The High Commissioner works to ease tensions involving national minorities that could lead to conflict within the OSCE area. The post is described in the mandate as “an instrument of conflict prevention at the earliest possible stage.” This means that the High Commissioner also works to address the long-term causes of interethnic tensions as well as trying to contain and de-escalate urgent situations. The High Commissioner also provides the OSCE with “early warnings” if ethnic tensions threaten to develop into a full-blown conflict.


Tours start at 10:30 a.m., 12 noon and 1:30 p.m. and last for approximately 1 hour.

The language of the tour is English.

Visitors will be introduced to the work carried out by the OSCE High Commissioner on National Minorities (HCNM).

The HCNM’s work in the following areas will be presented:

Tour 1 – Western Balkans 10:30
Tour 2 – Conflict Prevention and the HCNM 12:00
Tour 3 – Republic of Moldova 13:30

There is a maximum number of twenty-five people per tour. Visitors are requested to register for their preferred tour(s) online beforehand.


OSCE High Commissioner on National Minorities
Prinsessegracht 22
2514 AP Den Haag


Most organisations have strict security. Because of this, we have added a list of the DO’s and DON’Ts for you. As a visitor, you’ll be required to follow these. You will receive your security passes a week beforehand via e-mail. We ask you to please bring it with you. The security of the organisations can ask you to show your passes. Although the chance is there that registration will be enough and you will not be asked to show your pass. At all times you are required to bring a legal personal ID, like a passport of a ID-Card. Bus-, library, etc. cards are not valid identification. Security checks take time, so please keep this in mind when visiting. We ask for your patience for any eventual waiting times.


  • Bring a valid ID like a passport or ID card
  • Bring a your admission ticket (print or online version)
  • Keep in mind that security checks can take some time.
  • Listen and comply with security.


  • Do not bring large bags.
  • Do not bring prams unless absolutely necessary.
  • Do not bring electronic devices.
  • Photos and video recordings aren’t always permitted.