Breaking Ground on the Path to Equality

Isabelle / Al-Jazeera

Today, the UNHRC confer once again for their usual trimonthly sessions, with the topic of Civil Rights for Minorities, being the main focus and topic of discussion of this meeting.


Present today was myriad of different countries, ranging from China to the Democratic Republic of Congo, all contributing towards the discussion on how best to approach and resolve the situation regarding the civil rights, or the lack thereof, of the minorities present in each respective nation.


During the conference, multiple moderated caucuses were in motion, with topics such as, public education, national security challenges regarding minorities, and how to define the term “Minority” as a whole. They brought up issues, such as the marginalization of communities like the LGBTQ+, recent terrorist attacks in both China and the Philippines, and the effect on women that the Taliban had towards the 59 districts in Afghanistan it held captive during the 1960s. All topics and concerns that has had significant impact on such a global scale, that resolutions and policies regarding on how best to solve them, was met with a plethora of back and forth bouncing of ideas, polite discourse, and very eminent passion in each of the representing delegates.


It seems that many of the common themes seen during the session were concerns about just how to define minority, how to balance protecting national security whilst still with the delegate of Ukraine, bringing to the table the definition that they were, “A group that has significantly less control over their lives compared to the others in society.”


Other delegates from other countries such as Brazil, and Philippines have agreed to this definition and many others have included the fact that such definition would also have to accommodate the any divisions and subgroups that encompasses the term “Minority”, such as race, religion, gender, and sexual orientation.


However, others such as South Africa, and our own Qatari delegate, who unfortunately arrived to the session after the second moderated caucus due to a mishap with the flight allocations, would prefer to emphasize the quantitative approach towards defining minority. With our own delegate discussing our own condition where in our diverse population, only 11.6% are born and bred Qatari, whilst the delegate of South Africa discussed about the unfortunate Apartheid system, which is of segregation first enforced by British and French colonizers, that is still, tragically in place.


As the delegates, put this debate on hold, thus far talks about policies and enacting changes to education policies to further help integrate these minorities into society have been discussed and brought up already, and one can only imagine the bounds and lengths that such committee session would accomplish at its end.