REGARDING THE USE OF UNDEFINED TERMS
Here is the intervention read by Stephen Coughlin representing the Center for Security Policy at the OSCE Human Dimension Implementation Meeting, Session 1 “Tolerance and Non-Discrimination”, Warsaw, September 23, 2013:
This intervention concerns the Annotated Agenda which makes generous use of the term “aggressive nationalism”.
CSP would like a clarification of the term “aggressive nationalism.” Is there such a thing as “non-aggressive nationalism”? Is any assertion of national identity per se aggressive?
In addition, words such as “racism”, “xenophobia”, “intolerance”, and “discrimination” are biased terms that are not adequately defined. CSP is of the opinion that their purpose is to shut down debate by stigmatizing, marginalizing, and intimidating people who hold certain opinions. These words should be avoided unless they can be defined in such a manner that enjoys the consensus of all participants regardless of their political, social and cultural views.
Recommendation to ODIHR and participating States
- To refrain from using these terms until they are precisely and officially defined and accepted by the consensus of all participating groups holding diverse views.