AbstractThis article attempts to understand concurrent efforts by inter-governmental agencies in the areas of minority protection and ethnic conflict prevention. The analysis specifially aims (1) to assist in differentiating between the numerous inter-governmental organs, bodies, and mechanisms, including the CSCE High Commissioner on National Minorities, with a role in addressing minority issues, and (2) to begin the process of identifying interrelationships, overlaps, and gaps in existing capacities. In addition to the High Commissioner, the minority-related activities of the UN, the Council of Europe, and the Council of Baltic Sea States are all reviewed. The essential view is that 'the effectiveness of international response to minority questions lies not in the efficacy of single institutions but in synergetic cooperaton among them'.

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