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We must place a special focus on safeguarding minority rights - UN Secretary-General

Secretary-General of the UN António Guterres stressed the key role that the United Nationals plays in combating deteriorating human rights violations around the globe in his opening remarks at the 46th session of the UNHRC session in Geneva.

“Every corner of the globe is suffering from the sickness of violations of human rights,” he said, highlighting the ways in which democracies and fundamental rights of certain groups of people continue to be undermined since the COVID-19 pandemic. 

“Of course there are a number of extremely concerning country situations — some of them very prolonged – and this is where the Human Rights Council and its mechanisms are so vital in raising awareness, protecting people, maintaining dialogue and finding solutions,” Guterres mentioned. “People around the world are relying on us to secure and protect their rights.” 

He also focussed part of his remarks on minority rights and minority populations’ significance to the “richness of our cultural and social fabric”. Gueterres warned saying that “when a minority community’s culture, language or faith are under attack, all of us are diminished” and that “when authorities cast suspicion on entire groups under the guise of security, all of us are threatened”. “These measures are doomed to backfire,” the Secretary-General added.

See full speech here.

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