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Integration

The term integration is controversial and has many different meanings and connotations (and is equated with assimilation by some). For these reasons it was argued that states may be put off by the title of the Guidelines and/or attribute their own understandings to it. Suggestions for relatively ‘neutral’ alternatives reflecting the approach and content of the text included ‘managing diversity in’ or ‘consolidation of’ multi-ethnic societies—the latter being used in the context of HCNM support for Moldova’s development of an ‘integration’ action plan while avoiding the term integration. Counter-arguments (that eventually won through) were that the HCNM has consistently used the term integration—including in letters of recommendation, speeches, etc.—and continues to do so. To stop now for the purpose of these Guidelines would be inconsistent and possibly also send the wrong signal. It was felt that, so long as the intended meaning and content of the term is clearly set out in the Guidelines (as it is), the HCNM can make a real contribution by taking a controversial and contested term like integration and proposing a principled and practical model which has been shown to work in many contexts where the HCNM has been involved.

 
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