European Regional Forum on Conflict Prevention and the Protection of the Human Rights of Minorities
The fourth regional forum convened on the topic of conflict prevention and the protection of the human rights of minorities took place on 12-13 October 2021. The forum covered the European region and was held online due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Over 140 people representing states, international organisations, civil society, academia and minority groups participated in the regional forum. The main purpose of the European Regional Forum was to provide insights from the region to feed into the thematic work of the Special Rapporteur on minority issues for his report to the 49th session of the UN Human Rights Council in March 2022. Furthermore, discussions at the Regional Forum will also inform the work and recommendations of the 14th Session of the UN Forum on Minority Issues, which will take place in Geneva in December 2021. The European Forum also had the following four more specific objectives:
- Develop mutual understanding about the role of the protection of the human rights of minorities in preventing conflicts;
- Discuss legal, institutional and policy challenges to the recognition and implementation of the human rights of minorities to address long-standing grievances that may lead to tensions and possible conflicts;
- Identify why the root-causes of most conflicts, the denial of the human rights of minorities and their aspirations, are seldom acknowledged or addressed;
- Strengthen partnerships among various stakeholders and build capacity to address the root-causes of contemporary conflicts and more effectively prevent conflicts;
Based on the discussions at the Regional Forum and the input of panelists and participants, a set of regional recommendations on the issue of conflict prevention and the protection of the human rights of minorities were developed.