ECMI team attends the UN Minority Forum in Geneva, Switzerland

Last week, ECMI Director Prof. Tove Malloy and ECMI Senior Research Associate Dr. Ljubica Đorđević-Vidojković attended the UN Minority Forum session in Geneva.

Last week`s meeting was already the eleventh session of the forum on minority issues. The forum meets twice a year. Each session is devoted to a key subject in the field of minority issues. This year, the session was convened on the theme “Statelessness: A Minority Issue”. It took place in Geneva, Switzerland, in the Palais des Nations, between November 28th and November 30th.

The UN Minority Forum exists since September 2007. Established by the United Nations Human Rights Council, it serves as an expert platform on minority issues. At the two-day conference, challenges, possible-opportunities and best practice examples regarding minority situations were discussed. The overall aim is to improve cooperation within the United Nations system relating to the promotion and protection of the rights of minorities.

The participants and experts come from diverse backgrounds, such as representatives of States, specialized agencies and civil society organizations working on minority issues. In order to ensure that the minorities are properly considered in the discussions and work, the forum sets high value on the participation of minorities themselves. After the preparatory meeting, the minority experts are asked to introduce their agenda items and to discuss the different statements in an open dialogue.

The discussion leads to the final recommendations, which are based on international human rights norms. It is the duty of the Special Rapporteur to summarize the different positions and to report them to the Human Rights Council. This year, the challenging task was conducted by Dr. Fernand de Varennes, Dean of the faculté de droit at the Université de Moncton in Canada and an extraordinary professor at the Centre for Human Rights of the University of Pretoria in South Africa. Listen to his concluding remarks under the following link:

The purpose of the UN Minority Forum this year was to build a connection between statelessness and the human rights of individuals from a national, ethnic, religious or linguistic minority.


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