Sep 20, 2019

UNPO Members Participate in Asia-Pacific Regional Forum on Minority Issues

Between 20-21 September 2019, UNPO members from across Asia will gather at Mahidol University in Bangkok Thailand for the first-ever Asia-Pacific Regional Forum held as part of the UN Special Rapporteur on Minority Issues' initiative to give greater voice to minorities engaged in the annual UN Minority Forum. Regional Forums are being held in throughout the year, covering Africa, Asia-Pacific, Europe and the Middle East in advance of the annual Minority Forum in November, with the coordination of the Tom Lantos Institute, and the support of various regional partners. The theme for the year is Education, Language and the Human Rights of Minorities.

The UNPO was proud to have supported the initiative's European meeting, and more generally will be actively engaging in all of the regional forums and is working to submit a compendium of the issues facing UNPO member peoples with regards to securing their education and language rights. As peoples who are denied equal representation in national and international governance, UNPO members are particualrly vulnerable to exclusionary and cultural assimilation practices targetting teaching of and in their traditional languages. This is a phenonomen that exists across the World and which can be seen in whichever region the UNPO has members. As a result, the UNPO has long been advocating for and helping develop special protections in the field of minority and indigenous languages.