[Human Rights] HRC / 22nd Session, Human Rights Bodies and Mechanisms
Austria welcomes this occasion to exchange views on the work of the human rights bodies and expert mechanisms of the Human Rights Council and would like to focus its intervention on the Report of the Forum on Minority Issues. We would like to thank the Independent Expert for the presentation of the informative report related to the last session of the Forum which was devoted to the implementation of the UN Declaration on the rights or persons belonging to minorities.
Adopted by consensus by the General Assembly in 1992, the Declaration is and remains the main international reference document for minority rights. The rights that are enshrined therein can only be guaranteed by the full and effective implementation of the provisions of the Declaration. Here, we are still facing many challenges. After 20 years of existence, the status of implementation is still not satisfactory and its provisions lack attention. Therefore, discussions and initiatives like the Forum on Minority Issues help to raise awareness about the existence of the Declaration and to further promote the rights of persons belonging to minorities.
Again last year, the Forum provided once again an important platform for promoting dialogue and cooperation on issues pertaining to persons belonging to minorities and profited from the widespread participation of stakeholders. We all have to ensure that the recommendations made during the Forum which are action-oriented and aimed at increasing the role of minority women, will also be duly taken into account by all relevant actors. In this context, we would highly appreciate more information on future topics to be discussed by the Forum and how you envisage integrating the recommendations into your working, including during country visits.
During the year 2012 a range of activities were organised by different stakeholders. We hope that the outcome of these events will serve us in further strengthening not
only the Forum, but also the impact of its recommendations on the ground. We all have to make sure that the Forum retains its unique nature as a platform for dialogue and its widespread participation of stakeholders.
I thank you.