Vietnam: UN independent expert visits

05 July 2010, VietNamNet Bridge: The UN Independent Expert on minority issues, Gay McDougall, will visit Vietnam from 5 to 15 July 2010 to hold consultations on minority issues and to examine the human rights situation of the country’s numerous minority groups.

“Vietnam is a country of great diversity with more than 50 distinct groups exhibiting unique ethnic, religious, linguistic and cultural characteristics and identities,” remarked Ms. McDougall, who will visit Vietnam at the invitation of the Government.

“As in many countries with such diversity, challenges exist to ensuring that members of minority groups can fully realize their human rights and live in conditions of equality,” she noted.

“I consider this mission as providing a valuable opportunity to understand those challenges, to identify good practices, for dialogue, and to assist the Government to meet its obligations with respect to the rights of minorities.”

She will begin her visit in Hanoi before travelling to regions of significant minority populations, including the northern highlands, the central highlands and the Mekong Delta.

She will meet with senior Government officials, representatives of non-governmental organizations, community members, academics, and others working in the field of minority issues, social inclusion and promotion of equality and non-discrimination.

Under her UN mandate, McDougall is required to promote implementation of the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Persons Belonging to National or Ethnic, Religious and Linguistic Minorities and to identify challenges as well as successful practices in regard to minority issues.

Following her visit, the Independent Expert will present a report containing her findings and recommendations to the United Nations Human Rights Council.

The mandate of the Independent Expert is one of the thematic Special Procedures human rights mandates reporting to the UN Human Rights Council. McDougall (USA) was appointed as the first holder of the post of UN Independent Expert on minority issues in July 2005.

~ Indigenous Portal
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