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World ‘lack’ commitment to protect minority rights: Guterres – Global issues

The head of the United Nations spoke in New York at an event marking the 30th anniversary of its adoptionDeclaration of the Rights of Persons of Nationality or Ethnicity, Religion and Language.

Countries are meeting on the sidelines of the General Assembly to critically assess the progress of the landmark document.

‘Complete inaction and negligence’

Mr. Guterres was blunt about their efforts.

“The hard truth is – 30 years on – the world is in decline. Too short,” he speak.

“We’re not dealing with gaps – we’re dealing with complete inaction and negligence in protecting the rights of minorities. ”

Women are most affected

He reported that minorities have faced forced assimilation, persecution, prejudice, discrimination, stereotyping, hatred and violence.

They have also been stripped of their political and civil rights, and have seen their culture strangled, their language suppressed, and their religious activities restricted.

Besides, more than three-quarters of the world’s stateless people minority, while COVID-19 The pandemic has revealed deeply rooted patterns of exclusion and discrimination affecting their communities.

“Women from minority groups are most often disadvantaged – facingan increase in gender-based violence,lose jobs in greater numbers and benefit least from any fiscal stimulus,” he added.

The Secretary-General told the meeting that it was time for the international community to adhere to its commitments.

Call to action

“We need political leadership and resolute action . I urge every Member State to take concrete steps to protect minorities and their identities,” he said.

The head of the UN pointed toCall to Action for Human Rightswas enacted in February 2020, as a “blueprint” for all governments to tackle longstanding discrimination issues.

Meanwhile,Our Common AgendaThe report, published last September, calls for a new social contract to be tied to a holistic approach to human rights.

Mr. Guterres emphasized that the minority must active and equal participantsin every action and decision, adding that this participation is not only for their benefit.

We all benefit,“I said. “Countries that protect the rights of minorities are more peaceful. Economies that promote the full participation of minorities are more prosperous. Societies that accept diversity and inclusion are vibrant. And a world where everyone’s rights are respected will be more stable and fairer. ”

The celebration should act as a “catalyst for action,” he said, urging nations to work together to make the Declaration a reality for minorities everywhere.

About the Declaration

The 1992 Declaration is the only international human rights instrument of the United Nations devoted entirely to the rights of minorities.

It encapsulates three core truths, that the rights of minorities are human rights, that the protection of minorities is integral to the mission of the United Nations, and that the promotion of those rights is essential. necessary to promote political and social stability and prevent conflicts within and between states.

Strengthen common ground

In his remarks, the President of the United Nations General Assembly, Csaba Kőrösi, called on states to take urgent action to protect the rights of minorities in their territories.

“The ambition of the Declaration is to create a world where minorities can freely practice their religion. Freedom to participate in tradition. Freedom to speak one’s native language. A world whereDiversity is not seen as an obligation – but as a strength,” he speak.

“However, our mission today is not to point fingers,” he continued. “Our mission is to strengthen the agreed upon common ground.”

Like the Secretary-General, Mr. Kőrösi also addressed the plight of minority women, who suffer from what he calls “interwoven forms of discrimination”, making them more vulnerable to violence.

The risk of being marginalized

Nobel laureate Nadia Murad, a survivor of ISIL atrocities in Iraq, talks about growing up in the tiny Yazidi community in the north of the country.

Iraq is vast, and she said minority communities are separated geographically, but also by design.

“For those in power, it is easier to control a country where minorities are divided, suspicious of each other and have no say in government and civil society,” Ms. Murad said. We were invisible.”

According to the human rights activist, that isolation has had “violent consequences”. Goodwill ambassador with the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC).

She said the Yazidis were alone and unprotected when ISIL entered Iraq. Her village was attacked. Eight years on, the community remains on the sidelines. Most are still living in camps in Iraqi Kurdistan.

Ms. Murad emphasized that her story is not just a “Yazidi story” but can be applied to all Iraqi minorities and others around the world who are fighting for a role. fair play in their country.

“We need the international community to act, to show the world that it believes in the ideals set forth in this resolution.We know the devastating consequences of inaction. We call on you to be our partner in this fight. “

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