Assessing and strengthening the UN Forum on Minority Issues 2019


In 2016 the Tom Lantos Institute started a research project on the UN Forum on Minority Issues. By analysing the discourses and strategies used by the principal actors of the Forum, the empirical study provides insight into the structure, dynamics and normative trends of the global governance of minority rights. The research helps understand identity politics in international relations and the role of global governance in securing the rights of ethnic, religious and linguistic minorities. The project is implemented in partnership with the Human Rights Consortium of the School of Advanced Studies, University of London.

During the first phase of the research, statements from the first nine sessions of the Forum were collected, translated, and analysed using the qualitative data analysis software Nvivo. The preliminary results of the research were presented at a side-event at the 10th session of the UN Forum on Minority Issues. Subsequently an online database was developed to ensure that all documents related to the Forum, including statements made at the Forum, are searchable and accessible. The database can be accessed at where an introductory infographic user guide video is also available.

In 2019 the research and work on further developing the database continued. This included uploading statements made in the previous two years as well as the original UN language versions of older statements already uploaded to the website. Additional relevant UN documents and other documents related to minority issues were also made available on the website. Since 2019, the following documents have been available on the website:

  • reports of the UN Secretary General and the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights;
  • relevant reports of the UN Special Rapporteurs;
  • resolutions of the UN Security Council, the UN General Assembly, and the UN Human Rights Council;
  • reports of the UN Working Groups on Indigenous Peoples and People of African Descent;
  • documents related to the UN Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues;
    human rights documents related to the issue of education in and teaching of minority languages;
  • documents from the 2019 Regional Forums on Minority Issues;
  • TLI’s quarterly Global Minority Rights Newsletter.