Dec 15, 2010

UN Forum on Minority Issues Underway

UNPO delegation arrive in Geneva ahead of 2 day forum focusing on economic participation of minorities.

The Third Session of the UN Forum on Minority Issues opens today December 14 2010 under the theme of effective economic participation of minorities in all aspects of socio-economic life. UNPO has a delegation of over 20 representatives taking part in the two day forum, aiming to influence and guide the discussions and underline the importance of their particular case studies in their home regions.

During the preparatory session, UNPO delegates representing Iranian Kurds, Assyrians, Ahwazi Arabs, and the Khmer Krom as well as Ms. Maggie Murphy of the UNPO Secretariat were able to brief the Independent Expert on Minority Issues, Ms. Gay McDougall on their particular country situations, underlining the importance of the recommendations in the draft paper, but emphasizing the need for adequate implementation and monitoring of progress.

UNPO is co-hosting and chairing a parallel event at the UN on the theme of Minorities and Natural Resources, with UNPO representatives Senator Sana Baloch, and Ms. Kathy Polias representing the World Uyghur Congress drawing attention to the situation in Balochistan and East Turkestan respectively. Mr Mark Lattimer, Executive Director of Minority Rights Group International and, Mr. Christoph Wiedmer, Director of the Society for Threatened Peoples – Switzerland will provide a more global overview of challenges facing minorities in economic life and areas of good practice that can provide lessons to other communities.

The Forum is opened this morning, December 14 2010 by the High Commissioner for Human Rights, Ms. Navi Pillay, the President of the Human Rights Council, H.E Ambassador Sihasak Phuangketeow and this year’s Chair of the Forum, Professor Gita Sen.
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