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The Maastricht Diplomat

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[AP] Global or regional guidelines: countries divided in talks on national and ethnic minorities on Saturday morning

Discussions on social inclusion of national and ethnic minorities were slowly but surely progressing on Saturday morning at the General Assembly Social, Humanitarian, and Cultural Committee (SOCHUM), as representatives started drafting a resolution.

As countries were working on a draft resolution, a main issue arose, namely the manner of tackling those issues. Countries are deeply divided on how the guidelines should be formulated. 

Some countries want to tailor guidelines to the different specific regions, as the different minorities worldwide are facing very different issues and require different infrastructure. Some have raised the possibility of drafting continent-specific recommendations.

On the other side, some representatives are in favor of keeping guidelines global, reminding that the United Nations should work towards a common goal and that recommendations should be made on a global level, so that they can be applied by every nation. Each country should then be able to decide if or how they want to implement those guidelines. In that sense, Bolivia reminded that all countries have agreed to the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

Countries in favor of continent-specific guidelines, a split fraction in the local guidelines block, explained that such general recommendations are not realistic given that minorities have such different needs.

While discussing healthcare, some countries suggested collaborating with the World Health Organisation (WHO) in order to increase healthcare access, especially regarding minorities. This collaboration would concern program development or more concretely, vaccines for instance.

The representatives then began discussing solutions addressing housing issues. The president of the Committee also recommended countries to debate on digitalization, as this topic hasn’t been addressed yet.

Representatives have been mainly focusing on languages, but also debated on healthcare, employment since the start of the discussions. Yesterday, countries discussed education and agreed that no one-size-fits-all existed.


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