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Reducing The Risk Of Differential Standards In Minority Protection: The Holistic Approach Of The UN Independent Expert On Minority Issues

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Chapter Summary

In 2005, the first UN independent expert (IE) on minority issues, Gay McDougal, received a broad and general mandate. Given the global scope of the mandate, the complex problems minorities and indigenous peoples are facing worldwide, and the limited financial and human resources available to exercise this mandate, one could be forgiven for expecting the IE to narrow the focus of her work. Surprisingly, however, all developments point in the opposite direction: the IE has chosen a holistic approach towards minority issues and her working field is constantly growing and expanding. This chapter describes how the IE's mandate makes for a large measure of flexibility and adaptability, how this results in a continuously expanding working field and how, consequently, the risk of differential standards in the IE's work is reduced by such a holistic approach.

Keywords: differential standards; Gay McDougal; minority protection; UN independent expert (IE)



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