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United Nations: 30th Anniversary of the Declaration on minority rights

30 years ago, on 18 December 1992, the United Nations General Assembly adopted the UN Declaration of the rights of persons belonging to national or ethnic, religious, and linguistic minorities to protect and promote minority rights. It is the first international document that protects both the existence and the identity of minorities.

For 30 years, the Declaration remains the most important UN instrument devoted to minority rights. It provides guidance and key standards for the effective participation of minorities in decision-making in all areas in regional or local government.

To mark this 30th year anniversary, UN Human Rights is celebrating with a year-long commemoration that will focus on the theme, All in 4 Minority Rights, by promoting the tenet that the rights of any person belonging to national or ethnic, religious, and linguistic minorities contribute to the political and social stability and progress of States — important components to maintain peace and stability of society.

"Minorities remain systematically excluded from participating in decision-making around issues that directly affect them", Bachelet said. "Minority voices matter. Participation benefits not only minority groups but all of society… Only when we involve all voices, can we ensure equality and the human rights of all individuals, no matter who they are or where they come from."