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Two Campaigns to Strengthen United Nations Mechanisms on Minority Rights

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Over the last decade, the non-governmental organisation Minority Rights Group International ran two campaigns at the United Nations. The first sought to create a new special procedure of the Commission on Human Rights – a position of an expert with a mandate to investigate and make recommendations to remedy specifi c situations of violations of minority rights. The second responded to a situation in which the UN's only forum for representatives of minorities was threatened with closure, and aimed to keep it or have it replaced with a more eff ective body. In this article, the authors – who were both involved in these campaigns – will try to identify some lessons learnt from the strategies used, and draw some conclusions about the role of an international nongovernmental organisation in strengthening the international minority rights regime, and how, in so doing, it links with minority communities around the world.

Affiliations: 1: Head of Confl ict Prevention, Minority Rights Group International, London, UK; 2: Gender Coordinator/Advocacy Offi cer, Minority Rights Group International, London, UK

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