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Intervention by the Caucus of Minorities at the UN Working Group on Minorities

14 May 2003

15 May 2003 – Agenda item 4: Joint statement

The Caucus of Minorities has adopted the following recommendations by consensus, and submits them to the Working Group on Minorities. We urge the Working Group on Minorities to incorporate these recommendations into its own recommendations to be drafted on the final day of the Ninth Session.

  1. The United Nations should institute a year on minority rights, followed by a decade on minority rights.
  2. The Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights should offer courses on human rights and development cooperation to minorities.
  3. The Working Group on Minorities should organize a Forum of NGOs 2 days immediately prior to the Working Group session and draft the agenda of the WGM session taking into consideration the recommendations of the Forum.
  4. The Untied Nations should establish a Special Representative of the Secretary-General on Minorities with a mandate to undertake preventive diplomacy in situations of tension involving minorities, using human rights – in particular minority rights – as guiding principles. The SRSG should be particularly aware of exclusion from development as a possible cause of conflict.
  5. The Commission on Human Rights should draft and adopt a protocol to the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR) on minority rights.
  6. The Sub-Commission on the Promotion and Protection of Human Rights should adopt a resolution re-affirming the importance of the Working Group on Minorities and its essential role as an open forum for minorities.
  7. The Working Group on Minorities should build on the work undertaken in previous sessions on the themes of conflict and development, and develop more concrete recommendations on these themes. The signatories find the regional and sub-regional seminars held by the Working Group on Minorities to be particularly important and encourage the Working Group on Minorities to hold further meetings in those areas not yet covered. Again, conflict and development are two themes which could be discussed at these meetings.
  8. The United Nations should establish a Voluntary Fund to facilitate the participation of minority representatives in the Working Group on Minorities and any other United Nations activities directly relevant to minorities.


  • Amity for Peace
  • Asociacion Identidad Cultural Romani
  • Association de défense des droits de Batwa ‘Pygmies’
  • Association of World Citizens
  • Centre for Study of Society and Secularism
  • Consejo Gitano
  • Consortium of Bangsamoro
  • Civil Society Forum of Bosniacs-Muslims in Montenegro
  • Hindu-Buddhist-Christian Communities in Bangladesh
  • Human Development Organization – Sri Lanka
  • Mercy Corps International
  • Minority Rights Group International
  • Movement for the Survival of the Ogoni People
  • Nucleo de Estudos Negros
  • Palmares Institute of Human Rights
  • Regional Council for the Unrecognized Villages
  • Roma Humanitarian Association ‘Sun’
  • Tamilnadu Muslim Munnetra Kazhaga
  • Ted Wii
  • Women Development Group (Uganda)