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Turning Twenty: A Year to Reflect on Two Decades of the UN Declaration on the Rights of Minorities

Turning Twenty: A Year to Reflect on Two Decades of the UN Declaration on the Rights of Minorities Maggie Murphy* I. Introduction The year 2012 marked the twentieth anniversary of the UN Declaration on the Rights of Persons Belonging to National or Ethnic, Religious and Linguistic Minorities (hereinafter: the Declaration). For the many minority communities who were the subject of hundreds of critical recommendations and statements of concern issued during the year alone, the anniversary generated little cause for celebration. However, that there was a concerted attempt to raise visibility by the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR), and that the Treaty Body committees and a range of Special Procedures challenged states to improve the situation of minority communities, speaks at least to the understanding in various UN bodies that minority issues must not be a minority issue. This article will first cast a glance at some of the activities that took place throughout 2012 organised by the OHCHR in the framework of the anniversary. The article then turns to look at the way in which the UN reacted to the situation of minority communities involved in the incidents that flared, burned or simmered in Myanmar, Syria and Egypt during the year. Minorities are often central to confl ict and assume a variety http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png European Yearbook of Minority Issues Online Brill

Turning Twenty: A Year to Reflect on Two Decades of the UN Declaration on the Rights of Minorities

European Yearbook of Minority Issues Online , Volume 11 (1): 301 – Nov 17, 2014

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Publisher
Brill
Copyright
© Copyright 2014 by Koninklijke Brill NV, Leiden, The Netherlands
ISSN
1570-7865
eISSN
2211-6117
DOI
10.1163/22116117-90110050
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

Maggie Murphy* I. Introduction The year 2012 marked the twentieth anniversary of the UN Declaration on the Rights of Persons Belonging to National or Ethnic, Religious and Linguistic Minorities (hereinafter: the Declaration). For the many minority communities who were the subject of hundreds of critical recommendations and statements of concern issued during the year alone, the anniversary generated little cause for celebration. However, that there was a concerted attempt to raise visibility by the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR), and that the Treaty Body committees and a range of Special Procedures challenged states to improve the situation of minority communities, speaks at least to the understanding in various UN bodies that minority issues must not be a minority issue. This article will first cast a glance at some of the activities that took place throughout 2012 organised by the OHCHR in the framework of the anniversary. The article then turns to look at the way in which the UN reacted to the situation of minority communities involved in the incidents that flared, burned or simmered in Myanmar, Syria and Egypt during the year. Minorities are often central to confl ict and assume a variety

Journal

European Yearbook of Minority Issues OnlineBrill

Published: Nov 17, 2014

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