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UN Independent Expert on minority issues to visit Kazakhstan

2 July 2009

GENEVA - The United Nations Independent Expert on minority issues, Ms. Gay McDougall, will undertake a country visit to the Republic of Kazakhstan from 6 to 15 July 2009, at the invitation of the Government.

The Independent Expert will consult with the senior Government officials, representatives of non-governmental organizations, with community members, academics, and others working in the field of minority issues, social inclusion, and to promote equality and non-discrimination.

The visit offers an opportunity to consult on legislation, policy and practice relating to minority communities and a wide variety of issues relevant to diverse communities in Kazakhstan. The Independent Expert’s visit will include travel to Astana, Almaty and surrounding regions.

Following her visit, the Independent Expert will present a report containing her findings and recommendations to the United Nations Human Rights Council in March 2010.

Ms. Gay McDougall (United States) was appointed as the first holder of the post of UN Independent Expert on minority issues in July 2005. The mandate of the Independent Expert was established to promote implementation of the UN Declaration on the Rights of Persons Belonging to National or Ethnic, Religious and Linguistic Minorities, and to identify challenges as well as successful practices in regard to minority issues.