MINELRES: UN Sub-comission resolution on minorities

MINELRES moderator minelres@lists.microlink.lv
Sun Nov 7 11:52:41 2004


Original sender: Chris Chapman <CHRIS.CHAPMAN@mrgmail.org>


2004/13.  The rights of minorities

The Sub-Commission on the Promotion and Protection of Human Rights,
            
Noting Commission on Human Rights resolution 2004/51 of 20 April 2004 on
the rights of persons belonging to national or ethnic, religious and
linguistic minorities,

Having considered the report of the Working Group on Minorities on its
tenth session (E/CN.4/Sub.2/2004/29 and Add.1) and in particular the
conclusions and recommendations contained therein,

Reiterating the need for States, minorities and majorities to search for
peaceful and constructive solutions to problems affecting minorities,

Affirming that effective measures and the creation of favourable
conditions for the promotion and protection of the rights of persons
belonging to national or ethnic, religious and linguistic minorities,
ensuring effective non-discrimination and de facto equality for all, as
well as full and effective participation in matters affecting them
contribute to the prevention and peaceful solution of human rights
problems and situations involving minorities,

Emphasizing the importance of the timely identification of human rights
problems and situations involving national or ethnic, religious and
linguistic minorities, and the necessity of taking measures for the
prevention of tension and conflict,

1. Endorses the conclusions and recommendations of the Working Group on
Minorities at its tenth session as contained in its report
(E/CN.4/Sub.2/2004/29);

2. Reaffirms the importance of the Working Group and its uniqueness as
the only forum in the United Nations with a mandate to deal exclusively
with minority issues, including by reviewing the promotion and practical
realization of the Declaration on the Rights of Persons Belonging to
National or Ethnic, Religious and Linguistic Minorities;

3. Welcomes the decision of the Working Group to promote constructive
dialogue between minorities and Governments, not least with conflict
prevention in mind;

4. Notes the request by the Working Group that written submissions to it
should include a brief assessment of the comparative situation of the
minority in question in relation to the rest of the population, the main
areas of concern and suggestions on how to address them, and takes note
of the invitation by the Working Group to concerned Governments to
respond to the information presented during the sessions of the Working
Group, especially on best practices in dealing with minority situations;

5. Welcomes the decision of the Working Group to endorse the Commentary
prepared by its outgoing Chairperson, Mr. Asbjorn Eide, as the
Commentary of the Working Group and to elaborate future general
comments, including on the protection of minorities from forced
assimilation, autonomy vis-a-vis self-determination, effective
participation of minorities, and protection of places of worship and
sacred places;

6. Recalls with satisfaction the progress report of Mr. Asbjorn Eide
(E/CN.4/Sub.2/2003/21) and takes notes of the note by the Secretariat
(E/CN.4/Sub.2/2004/32) stating that the final report updating Mr. Eide’s
1993 study on peaceful and constructive approaches to situations
involving minorities is to be submitted to the Sub-Commission at its
fifty-seventh session;

7. Welcomes the intention of the Working Group to hold regional or
subregional seminars, in cooperation with regional mechanisms wherever
possible, and welcomes the suggestion to hold such seminars in the
African and Asian regions as well as a seminar in the Americas on
Afro-descendant issues, including with a view to considering regional
guidelines, principles or codes of conduct, based on universal norms and
international minority rights standards;

8. Welcomes also the intention of the Working Group to hold a seminar on
the Roma/Sinti, and the possibility of calling upon the cooperation of
the Council of Europe and the Focal Point for Roma and Sinti of the
Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe in regarding the
organization of that seminar, to which Roma/Sinti representatives from
European and, especially, non-European countries should also be invited;

9. Notes the visit of the Working Group to Finland and its report on
that visit (E/CN.4/Sub.2/2004/29/Add.1) and welcomes the invitation from
other Governments to visit their country, provided that resources are
made available;

10. Invites the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human
Rights to consider organizing training workshops at the national level
on the implementation of the rights of minorities;

11. Invites the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights, in
cooperation with development agencies, to organize a meeting between the
Working Group, representatives of international and bilateral
development agencies, and Minority Rights Group International and
minority representatives to examine further the integration of minority
issues in development programming;

12. Invites the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights to
prepare additional pamphlets for inclusion in the United Nations Guide
for Minorities, in particular on the work of conflict-prevention
mechanisms for the promotion and protection of the rights of persons
belonging to minorities;

13. Recommends that the High Commissioner for Human Rights, when
inviting, among others, Governments to submit their views on how best to
protect the rights of persons belonging to minorities, also request them
to consider providing the names of experts with a view to facilitating
their participation in regional and international meetings and in
advisory services and to consider providing information about recent
cases relating to minority rights considered in the highest courts of
the country;

14. Appeals to all States, specialized agencies, non-governmental
organizations and scholars to continue to participate actively in the
work of the Working Group;
 
15. Welcomes Commission on Human Rights decision 2004/114 of 20 April
2004 and Economic and Social Council decision 2004/… of 22 July 2004
recommending to the General Assembly that it give favourable
consideration to the establishment of a voluntary fund on
minority-related activities;

16. Recommends the preparation of a working paper by a member of the
Sub?Commission on the advisability of drafting an additional protocol to
the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights containing
remedies for violations of minority rights to be presented to the
Sub-Commission at its fifty-eighth session;

17. Also recommends the nomination of a special representative of the
Secretary?General on minority issues, with a particular focus on country
fact-finding missions and preventive diplomacy;

18. Recommends the following draft decision to the Commission on Human
Rights for adoption:
"The Commission on Human Rights, taking note of Sub-Commission on the
Promotion and Protection of Human Rights resolution 2004/13 of 9 August
2004, decides to endorse its recommendation that a special
representative of the Secretary-General on minority issues be nominated,
with a particular focus on country fact-finding missions and preventive
diplomacy.  The special representative should cooperate closely with the
Working Group on Minorities.  The Commission also decides to recommend
that the Economic and Social Council endorse the decision."

18th meeting
9 August 2004
[Adopted without a vote.  See chap. VII.]


--------------------
Kind regards,
Chris Chapman
International Officer

Minority Rights Group International
54 Commercial Street (Floors 2-4)
London E1 6LT
United Kingdom
Direct telephone +44 (0) 20 7422 4222; Switchboard +44 (0) 20 7422 4200
Fax +44 (0) 20 7422 4201
E-mail chris.chapman@mrgmail.org
Website www.minorityrights.org