UN panel adopts resolution on minority rights

APP
November 17, 2019

UNITED NATIONS: A committee of the UN General Assembly Friday unanimously passed a resolution calling for the promotion and protection of human rights of persons belonging to minorities, with...

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UNITED NATIONS: A committee of the UN General Assembly Friday unanimously passed a resolution calling for the promotion and protection of human rights of persons belonging to minorities, with Pakistan drawing the international community’s attention to the plight of Muslims in Indian State of Assam and occupied Kashmir.

The resolution, titled effective promotion of the Declaration on the Rights of Persons Belonging to National or Ethnic, Religious and Linguistic Minorities, was adopted without a vote in 193-member Assembly’s Third Committee, which deals with social, humanitarian and cultural issues.

By its terms, the assembly would request the UN Special Rapporteur on minority issues to report annually to it, including with recommendations for strategies to better implement the rights of persons belonging to national or ethnic, religious and linguistic minorities. It would urge States to promote and protect the rights of persons belonging to these minorities, including by encouraging conditions for the promotion of their identity, the provision of education and the facilitation of their participation in all aspects of political, economic, social, religious and cultural life, without discrimination, and to apply a gender perspective while doing so.

The draft would also call on States to ensure the protection of children who belong to national or ethnic, religious and linguistic minorities and who are at risk of becoming or have become stateless. Welcoming the adoption of the resolution, Pakistani delegate Qasim Aziz pointed out that the recent report of the Special Rapporteur on minority issues had deplored the treatment of millions of Muslims in Assam who face the threat of being deemed “foreigners” and treated as non-citizens, and could therefore become stateless.


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