14th UN Forum on Minority IssuesGeneva, 2


Conflict prevention through protection of human rights of minorities

GENEVA (1 December 2021) – The UN Forum on Minority Issues – the main annual event of the UN System focused on minorities – will discuss on 2 and 3 December one of the world’s greatest challenges – tackling more effectively the growing number of violent conflicts.

The Forum, involving over 650 delegates, will be guided by the Special Rapporteur on minority issues, Fernand de Varennes, and chaired by Victoria Donda, president of the National Institute Against Discrimination, Xenophobia and Racism, one of the Argentine Government’s main human rights institutions.

“Since 2010 the number of major violent conflicts has tripled globally, and most of them involve minorities and grievances over discrimination and exclusion, and threats to their identity,” said de Varennes. “Wide-reaching and action-oriented discussions with the participation of minorities are needed to tackle this dramatic tendency.”

Among participants joining the Forum will be officials from governments, the UN, intergovernmental, national and regional organisations, civil society and minority representatives from different parts of the world.

This year’s agenda will focus on the root causes of contemporary conflicts involving minorities; legal and institutional frameworks; early prevention of conflicts; and initiatives to better protect the rights of minorities to prevent conflicts.

Speakers will include the President of the Human Rights Council, Nazhat Shameem Khan; the Assistant Secretary-General for Human Rights and head of the UN Human Rights Officer in New York, Ilze Brands Kehris; Special Adviser to the Secretary-General on the Prevention of Genocide, Alice Nderitu; Permanent Observer of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation, Ambassador Nassima Baghli; and Organization for Security and Cooperation High Commissioner on National Minorities Kairat Abdrakhmanov.

Discussions at the Forum, along the outcomes from four regional forums held during the year, will help the Special Rapporteur frame recommendations to be presented to the Council in March 2022.

The hybrid-style Forum is being held in Geneva and will be livestreamed at media.un.org. Interpretation in all official UN languages and International Sign Language will be provided as well as captions in English, Spanish and French.

The UN Forum is open to media, and interviews can be arranged with forum participants.

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