Remarks at a UN Third Committee Dialogue with Mr. Fernand de Varennes, Special Rapporteur on Minority Issues

Jason Mack
U.S. Mission to the United Nations
New York City
October 22, 2019


Thank you, Special Rapporteur de Varennes, for your report. The United States closely follows the repression of members of minority communities by state and non-state actors across the globe and we remain concerned by Member-State activities that contribute to statelessness.

We are pleased to note the pledge to take action to end statelessness by the vast majority of Member States at the High-Level Segment on Statelessness during UNHCR’s Executive Committee in Geneva earlier this month.

The United States promotes respect for the human rights of all persons, including members of minority groups. While we are proud of our accomplishments in reducing discrimination and promoting equal opportunity for all, we recognize that challenges remain.

Ensuring equal treatment for members of minority groups is a challenge every nation faces.

We value meaningful dialogue about eliminating discrimination against minority communities, and underscore that the issue deserves respect from all those vested with the responsibility of governance.

State repression of members of minority groups in Myanmar, Iran, China and Russian-occupied Crimea, has marginalized and in many cases displaced individuals belonging to such groups, including Rohingya, Kachin, Shan, Baha’i, Tibetans, Uighurs, Crimean Tatars and others. With violence and severe discrimination perpetrated against them, and with undue restrictions on their fundamental freedoms of expression, peaceful assembly and association, and religion or belief, and their rights to fair trial guarantees, members of these communities deserve our collective attention and assistance.

We urge all Member States to highlight their concerns directly with the Russian Federation, Myanmar, Iran, and China.

We further call upon Member States to take bold steps and avoid creating new situations of statelessness. These efforts should include ensuring access to civil registration and citizenship documentation for members of minority communities, who often are disproportionately disadvantaged by discriminatory policies and practices, as noted in the Special Rapporteur’s most recent report.

Mr. de Varennes, what are best practices to ensuring minority communities’ insights and views are an integral part of identifying and mapping statelessness?