Issues in focus
III. Mainstream the consideration of minority issues within the work of the United Nations and other important multilateral forums
Attention to minority issues has been demonstrated to be essential to efforts to promote human rights, development and stability. Mainstreaming of minority issues within the United Nations system therefore offers the opportunity for greater and more consistent consideration of minority issues within key areas of UN work and across UN agencies, bodies and mechanisms. At the national level, UN field staff will be better equipped to systematically consider minority issues and to respond to them appropriately. In the planning and implementation of programmes of work, minority issues can also be considered to ensure that minorities are consulted, and are able to participate effectively in decisions that affect them. Mainstreaming offers the opportunity for the UN to better assist states, through technical cooperation, for example, to ensure that their policies and practices are fair, non-discriminatory and benefit all communities.
As an example of her work to mainstream minority issues, the Independent Expert has developed a fruitful collaboration with the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP). Pursuing her work in the area of poverty alleviation and realization of MDGs for minorities, this collaboration seeks to help UNDP to better address issues related to minorities in development, to share challenges and good practice in addressing minority issues in development, and to further enhance the inclusion of minority issues in UNDP programming. For further details of this collaboration with UNDP please see the annual report of the Independent Expert to the Human Rights Council presented to the Human Rights Council at its 10th session in March 2009.
Marginalised Minorities in Development Programming: A Resource Guide and Toolkit
Developed in partnership with the UN Independent Expert on minority issues and the OHCHR, a UNDP publication "Marginalised Minorities in Development Programming: A Resource Guide and Toolkit" clarifies the conceptual issues and fundamental principles on the promotion and protection of minorities; the standards to engage them and increase their opportunities for participation and representation in development processes.