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Conflict prevention, statelessness, migration crisis: How can a minority rights approach help to address these global challenges?

24 October 2017 • 3:00 – 4:30 pm EST
UN General Assembly Building

25 years after the UN General Assembly has adopted the UN Declaration on the Rights of persons belonging to national or ethnic, religious and linguistic minorities, minorities in all regions of the world continue to be disproportionately excluded from the economic, political and social life of their countries, and many minorities continue to face serious threats.

Discrimination and violence against ethnic, religious and linguistic minorities are among the key root causes of a number of phenomena of global concern, including the persistence of statelessness, the outburst of conflicts and social unrest and resulting migration flows.

The objective of this side event is to discuss how a minority rights approach, including a better implementation of the UN Declaration on the rights of minorities, can be integral to preventing conflicts and addressing humanitarian and refugee crises.

Opening remarks

Mr Andrew Gilmour, Assistant Secretary-General for Human Rights


Dr. Fernand de Varennes, UN Special Rapporteur on Minority Issues

Ms. Gay McDougall, Chair of Minority Rights Group International (MRG), member of the CERD, first UN Independent Expert on Minority Issues

Ms. Grainne O’Hara, Deputy Director, New York Office, UNHCR

Mr. Adama Dieng, UN Special Adviser of the Secretary General on the Prevention of Genocide

Ms. Wai Wai Nu, Director of Women Peace Network Arakan (Myanmar)

Ms. Pascale Warda, Co-founder of Hammurabi Human Rights Organization, former Minister of Immigration and Refugees (Iraq)


Mr. Philipp Charwath, Deputy Permanent Representative of Austria to the United Nations