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Edinburgh, 26 Jun 2017 – HaRUM was invited to join the 13th ‘Human Rights Forum & General Assembly, Unrepresented Nations & Peoples Organization  (UNPO)’ in Edinburgh, Scotland on 26-28 June 2018.

The conference was attended by almost 100 participants from various NGOs representing minority groups (members of UNPO) from around the world.

HaRUM is the only NGO from Southeast Asia that was present as a mediator to Sulu province who became a UNPO member since 2014.

The HaRUM-UNPO relationship began in September 2014 during a first-time visit to UNPO’s office in Amsterdam, the Netherlands. From there, HaRUM became the only NGO from Malaysia that was invited to join the Minority Issues Forum held at the Palais de Nations, United Nations (UN) in Geneva, Switzerland, in November 2014. In June 2015, HaRUM held a conference/meeting to discuss about the humanitarian issues that exist across the archipelago at the UNPO office in Brussels, Belgium. This was followed by the organisation’s first participation in the 12th UNPO General Assembly in July the same year.

UNPO holds its General Assembly every two years, and the 13th General Assembly was held in Edinburgh, Scotland.

26 June was the first day of the event on which a special conference titled “Sharing Perspectives on the Right of the Unrepresented on the Eve of UNPO’s XIII General Assembly” took place in the Scottish Parliament, from 9 am to 5 pm. The conference was UNPO’s collaboration with the “Third Generation Project” and MP Willie Rennie (Scottish Liberal Democrats).

The conference was separated into 3 sessions involving 14 panels from various countries and backgrounds.

The 3 sessions discussed the following topics:

  1. State-sponsored oppression against unrepresented communities
  2. Being a woman and from an unrepresented community in 2017: The importance of intersectionality to fight double discrimination
  3. The power of advocacy to foster political change

The opening ceremony of the 13th General Assembly was held once the sessions are completed, with speeches by Mr Nasser Boladai (UNPO President), Mr Marino Busdachin (Secretary General), Dr Josep-Maria Terricabras (member of the European Parliament) and Mr Willie Rennie (member of the Scottish Parliament – North East Fife, and Leader of the Scottish Liberal Democrats).

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