We reminded the Office of the UN Rapporteur on Rights of Minorities about the Statement of Principles on Minority and Group Rights in South Asia. The major aim of this statement of principles on minority and group rights in South Asia is to effectively address minority issues and concerns, which cut across countries in South Asia and enhance regional responses. The statement includes 11 principles and an explanation of the meaning of these principles within the context of South Asia. The statement also contains an overview of the constitutional provisions which provide minority protection, and points to some of the major regional and international human rights standards from which each of the principles has been drawn. The principles themselves have been elaborated on the basis of the United Nations Declaration on the rights of persons belonging to minorities, international minority rights standards and, in the absence of regional standards in Asia, specific European instruments and documents, including commentaries thereto, as well as constitutional provisions and jurisprudence in the region. In particular, the principles have been adapted to the issues which are of relevance in South Asia and the circumstances in each of the five countries covered by this statement, namely, Bangladesh, India, Nepal, Pakistan, and Sri Lanka.
We had sought from the Office of the SR Recommendations of Forums and Thematic Reports from previous annual sessions.Our interest is regional and national. On the former the South Asian charter remains relevant. On the latter we propose an annual Status of Minorities Report to be considered to share at Annual Forums in Geneva. We felt the Ministry of National Co-existence Dialogue and Official Languages in Sri Lanka would benefit if comparative global best practices available in the Office of the SR are shared