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UN Forum on Minority Issues

30 November - 1 December, Room XX, Palais des Nations, Geneva

Minority youth to call for inclusive and diverse societies

GENEVA (29 November 2016) – The UN Forum on Minority Issues will take place in Geneva on 30 November and 1 December, with a special focus this year on the role of young people from minorities in promoting inclusive and diverse societies.

More than 400 participants are expected at the Forum, which is now in its 10th year. Many young men and women from minority communities will be participating for the first time at a UN event and young delegates will be representing their governments. 

“At this critical time for minorities, it is very important to have a meeting of young people from minorities. They are the true agents of change and they can be instrumental in improving the situation of minorities around the world,” said Fernand de Varennes, UN Special Rapporteur on Minority Issues. “Efforts need to be made to better recognize and uphold their human rights.”

“2017 marks the 25th anniversary of the UN Declaration for the protection of persons belonging to minorities. It is therefore a key moment to reflect on how the Declaration can also guide governments in their actions,” he added.

The meetings will be from 10:00 to 13:00 and 15:00 to 18:00 in Room XX, Palais des Nations, Geneva. Simultaneous translation in Arabic, Chinese, English, French, Russian and Spanish will be provided for the official meetings. Side events will take place from 13:00 to 15:00 on both days.

Full details regarding the programme are available on the Forum’s website: http://www.ohchr.org/EN/HRBodies/HRC/Minority/Pages/Session10.aspx

“The Forum is a unique opportunity for governments and minority communities to build bridges and engage in constructive dialogue,” said Tarik Kurdi, the Chairperson of the 10th session of the Forum.

The Forum’s recommendations on minority youth will be presented to the UN Human Rights Council in March 2017.


Every year, as requested by the UN Human Rights Council, the Special Rapporteur on minority issues organises and guides a Forum on minority issues to provide a platform for promoting dialogue and cooperation on issues of national or ethnic, religious and linguistic minorities. The Forum aims at identifying and analyzing best practices, challenges, opportunities and initiatives for the further implementation of the Declaration on the Rights of Persons Belonging to National or Ethnic, Religious and Linguistic Minorities:  http://www.ohchr.org/EN/ProfessionalInterest/Pages/Minorities.aspx

For more information and media requests, please contact Ms. Claire Morclette at the Forum Secretariat: (+41 22 917 9533 / Minorityforum@ohchr.org