[Human Rights] HRC 25th Session, Interactive Dialogue with the IE on minority issues
Geneva, 18 March 2014
Thank you Mr. President.
Austria would like to thank you for the comprehensive presentation and your thematic report that this year is focusing on the important issue of the inclusion of minority issues in the post-2015 development agendas. We also appreciate that your work continuously takes into account the views of persons belonging to minorities, NGOs and grass-roots organizations.
Although the Declaration on the rights of persons belonging to minorities states in article 4 that States should consider appropriate measures so that persons belonging to minorities may participate fully in the economic progress and development in their country, many minority groups in all regions continue to face high and disproportionate levels of poverty and face discrimination and marginalization. This has a severe impact on their rights and opportunities in all fields of life, including their education, access to employment and participation in economic life and their access to adequate housing.
It is therefore important and essential that greater attention is given to the rights and situation of persons belonging to minorities in the post 2015 development agenda and in future developments goals. This includes also the rights contained in the minority declaration. In this context, we would be interested to know more about your strategies to achieve this goal.
In your report you have mentioned that in order to reduce poverty, economic and social exclusion of persons belonging to minorities, targeted affirmative action policies are required. In addition, your are advocating for the establishment of departments, units, focal points, commissions or ombudspersons on that issue at the national level. Given your experience, could you share with us some examples of good practices in this regard?
Since your mandate will be renewed during this session, we would like to thank you first of all for the work done so far and would like to come back to your priorities which you presented during the 19th session of the Council which was your first interactive dialogue as mandate holder. Austria believes that the issue of young people and women from minority communities need much greater attention as they often suffer from multiple, aggravated and intersecting forms of discrimination and that their views must be effectively taken into account. Against this background, Austria would like to ask you whether you are planning to focus more on this issue during the upcoming years.
Finally, we would like to reiterate our strong support to your mandate and to your work on this important issue.
I thank you .