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Forum on Minority Issues- Second Session of the Forum on Minority Issues

Minorities and Effective Political Participation, 12 and 13 November 2009

Oral statements delivered at the Forum - as received from participants

Forum on Minority Issues- Second Session of the Forum on Minority Issues

Minorities and Effective Political Participation, 12 and 13 November 2009

Oral statements delivered at the Forum - as received from participants

Item I – Introduction

H.E. Amb. Alex Van Meeuwen

President of the Human Rights Council

Ms. Gay McDougall

Independent Expert on Minority Issues

Ms. Marcia Kran

Director of the Research and Right to Development Division, on behalf of the High Commissioner for Human Rights
Ms. Barbara Lee Chairperson of the Second Session of the Forum on Minority Issues

Item II – International and regional human rights frameworks and core principles on the rights of minorities to political participation

Mr. Ion Diaconu Member of the Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination

Item III – Obstacles to effective political participation faced by minorities

Assigned speakers

Ms. Epsy Campbell

Former candidate for President in Costa Rica

Mr Anders Johnsson

Secretary General of the Inter-Parliamentary Union

Ms. Jayshree Mangubhai

“Obstacles to the Political Participation of Dalit Women” (India)

Mr Simon Woolley

Operation Black Vote, (England), on “Obstacles to Effective Political Participation: the impact of racism and xenophobic political platforms”

Ms. Alice Ratyis

NDI’s report on “Assessment of Barriers to Roma Political Participation in Romania” (NDI-Romania)

Ms. George-Pau Langevin

French MP on “Obstacles faced by minorities in accessing political responsibilities”

Ms. Anastasia Crickley

Chairperson of EUFRA, on ''Minority participation: challenges and opportunities in Ireland and Europe”

Ms. Sophia Abdi Noor

Kenyan MP, on “Challenges facing minority women in political participation and their solutions: the case of Kenya and other neighboring countries”


Permanent mission

Russian Federation

Ms. Nicolette Moodie


Mr Fernand De Varennes

Murdoch University, Australia

Permanent mission


Mr Talal A. Daous

Director of the Muslim Minorities and Communities
Organization of Islamic Conference (OIC)

Mr Kiyonga Francis Adamson

Member of the Parliament of Uganda

Mr Adam Kosa

World Federation of Deaf

Mr Mark Lattimer

Minority Rights Group International (MRG)

Permanent mission


Mr Cifende Kaciko

Professor at the Law Faculty in the Catholic University of Bukavu, Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC)

Permanent mission

South Africa

Mr. Victor Manuel Rodriguez Rescia

Sub-Committee on Prevention of Torture

Permanent mission


Ms. Alexandra Ocles Padilla

Vice-ministra de la SPPC, Ecuador


Joint statement by Adalah—the Legal centre for Arab minority rights in Israel and the Arab Association for Human Rights


Centre for Balochistan Studies


Congrès Mondial Amazigh


Federation of Western Thrace Turks in Europe




Unissons-nous pour la promotion des Batwa (UNIPROBA- Burundi)


Observatory of Linguistic Rights


International Human Rights Association for American Minorities (IHRAAM)

Mr Andrew Khoo

Malaysian Bar Council


Congress of Nationalities for a Federal Iran


Ahwazi Human Rights Organization

Mr Firat Anli

Democratic Society Party, Turkey

Item IV – Conditions required for effective political participation

Assigned speakers

Amb. Knut Vollebaek

OSCE High Commissioner for National Minorities, on projects implemented by his office

Ms. Eva Konecna

Secretary of the Advisory Committee on the Framework Convention for the Protection of National Minorities, on “Examples of monitoring exercises that have led to the adoption of the Commentary on the Framework Convention on the effective participation of national minorities in public life”

Mr Francisco Campbell

Member of the Central American Parliament on “Minority Participation: challenges and opportunities in Central America

Mr Azhagan Chenganna

Communication Studies Unit, University of Mauritius, on “The Role and Responsibilities of the Media in enhancing the political participation of Minorities


Permanent mission


Ms. Maya Sahli

Working Group of Experts on People of African Descent

Mr I. Mantsu

President of Macedonarmân Council

Ms. Dubravka Simonovic

Chairperson of the Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination Against Women

Ms. Sejal Parmar

Article 19

Ms. Yvette Jarvis

Municipality of Athens


Dominicans for Justice and Peace

Ms. Corinne Lennox

University of London


Iranian Turks Study Centre

Mr James Glyn Ford

United Against Racism, British Labour Party

Prof. Hurst Hannum

Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy at Tufts University


Pastoralist Indigenous Non Governmental Organizations Forum, (PINGO) Tanzania


YASA—Kurdish Centre for Legal Studies & Consultancies

Mr Elvis Vasil Toci

National Organisation of Albanian Aromenian


RAPY Grands Lacs--Batwas

Ms. Alexandra Tomaselli

Institute for Minority Rights, European Academy of Bolzano/Bozen (EURAC)


Indonesian Anti-Discrimination Movement

Item V –National practices and real experiences: existing mechanisms providing for the political participation of minorities

Assigned speakers

H.E. Mr Martin Ihoeghian Uhomoibhi

The Permanent Representative of Nigeria

Ms. Anne Begg

UK Parliament, on the Interim Report of the Speaker’s Conference

Mr Márcio Augusto Freitas de Meira

Head of “Fundação Nacional do Índio”, Brazil

Mr Yeraly Tugzhanov

Deputy Chair of the Assembly of People of Kazakhstan

Mr. Norbert Tóth

Senior Research Fellow at the Research Institute for Minority Studies of the Hungarian Academy of Sciences on “The institution and practice of the Hungarian minority self-governments”

Ms. Bintu Jalia Ngonzi Abwooli

Ugandan MP, on “Existing mechanisms providing for thepolitical participation of minorities in Uganda

Mr John Payton

President and Director-Counsel of the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund, United States of America

Ms. Mary Anne Chambers

“Meaningful Representation, Empowerment and the Impact of Racial Discrimination on political participation in Canada”

Ms. Liberate Nicayenzi

Membre du Parlement du Burundi: Assemblée nationale, “Les bonnes pratiques et expériences sur les minorités pour les minorités ethniques en politique: cas du Burundi”

Ms. Yvette Jarvis

Special Advisor to the mayor of Athens (Greece), on the Greek experience


Permanent mission


Ms. Donna Christensen

U.S. House of Representatives, U.S. Virgin Islands

Permanent mission


Ms. Marilyn Sephocle

Howard University, United States of America

Permanent mission

United States of America

Mr Jean Claude Beaujour

Lawyer, France

Permanent mission


Permanent mission


Mr Thol. Thirumaavalavan

Indian MP

Permanent mission


Permanent mission




Mr Shanmuga Kanesalingam

Malaysian Consultative Council of Buddhism, Christianity, Hinduism, Sikhism and Taoism

Permanent mission


Permanent mission

Viet Nam

Permanent mission

United Kingdom

Mr Mohammed Al-Tarawneh

Chairperson of the Committee on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities

Ms. Laura W. Murphy

Laura Murphy and Associates, USA

Permanent mission


Ms. Dhana Kumari Sunar

Feminist Dalit Organisation Nepal


Anywaa Community, Gambella, Ethiopia


European Academic Studies on Regionalism


ROMA together—Bulgarian Roma grassroots NGOs


Center for Analytical Studies


European Bureau for lesser used languages (EBLUL)


National Campaign on Dalit Human Rights


Interfaith International

Mr Asso Hassan Zadeh

« Chil Chira » Alliance

Item VI - Impact of electoral systems and role of political parties
Assigned speakers

Mr Edward Shalala

Head of DDIP (Design of Democratic Institutions and Processes) at International—IDEA, on “The impact of constitutional and electoral systems design

Mr Denis Kadima

EISA, on the “Impact of Electoral Systems and Role of Political Parties: the Experience in several African Countries

Ms. Geraldine Fraser-Moleketi

Director Democratic Governance Group, Bureau for Development Policy—UNDP New York, on “ The UNDP Work on Electoral Systems”


Nabil De Freige

MP from Lebanon

Mr Bouchoucha

MP from Algeria

Mr Abdulhalim Dede

Turkish Minority Greece


European Roma Rights Centre




Samata foundation Nepal

Mr Wade J. Hendersen

Leadership conference on civil rights, United States of America


Roma Education Fund

Item VII - Concrete steps to advance minority political participation and to build capacity of minorities to participate effectively
Assigned speakers

Mr Alcee Hastings

U.S. Member of Congress/ Head of the Helsinki Committee

Mr Antti Korkeakivi


Ms. Graciela Dixon

Attorney and former Chief Justice of the Corte Suprema de Justicia de Panamá (Supreme Court of Panama)

Mr Joe Frans

Black European Summit/ Former Chair, UN Working Group of Experts on People of African Descent

Mr Pheroze Nowrojee

Kenyan lawyer

Mr Yonadam Kanna

Member of the Council of Representatives of Iraq


Permanent mission


Mr Andrew Richardson

Inter Parliamentary Union

Mr Aleksejs Dimitrovs

Legal Adviser at the European Parliament

Mr. Ian Diaconu



Joint statement by the Caribbean Project Association of Costa Rica, the Central American Black Organization and the Circle of Afrodescendant Youth of Americas

Mr Wouter Van Belligen

Deputy Mayor of Sint-Niklaas

Permanent mission


Ms. Jannie Lasimbang

Chairperson of the Expert Mechanism on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples

Permanent mission


Geraldine Frasier Moleketti


Mr Zhou Yong

Norwegian Centre for Human Rights

Permanent mission


Mr Chibo Onyeji

European Network Against Racism

Permanent mission


Mr Azzouz Kerdoun

Member of the Committee on Social, Economic and Cultural Rights

Permanent mission



Joint Statement on behalf of the Malaysian Bar Council and the Malaysian Consultative Council of Buddhism, Christianity, Hinduism, Sikhism and Taoism


World Citizens Association


YASA—Kurdish Centre for Legal Studies & Consultancies


Association Universelle d’Esperanto


International Human Rights Association for American Minorities (IHRAAM)

Permanent mission



Association Solidarité entre Nous


Syriac Universal Alliance

Dr. Maria Lundberg

University of Oslo, Law Faculty

Item VIII - Concluding remarks
Ms. Gay McDougall Independent Expert on Minority Issues