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MRG encourages states to increase support to the Minority Forum

18 March 2021

Human Rights Council – 46th Session

General Debate – item 5

Thank you Madame President,

Minority Rights Group welcomes the convening of the thirteen session of the UN Forum on Minority Issues last November, despite the difficult public health situation and the travel restrictions.

In a context where minorities have been particularly negatively affected by hate speech in relation to the spread of the pandemic, it was essential that this session of the Forum take place. As Covid-19 has further driven human rights activism to the digital space, the Forum was an opportunity to unpack the challenges posed by hate speech against minorities on social media, and to formulate practical recommendations to tackle these challenges.

Madame President,

The Forum on Minority Issues remains a unique space for minority rights defenders from all continents to gather, exchange ideas, express their concerns and formulate recommendations. While we look forward to resuming in-person sessions, that remain irreplaceable, we welcome the introduction of opportunities for remote participation.

MRG is concerned at recurring difficulties with regard to the staffing of the Secretariat of the Forum. We encourage states to increase their support to the Forum, and to support and participate actively in the regional Forums that Special Rapporteur de Varennes is convening.

I thank you.