The Minority Rights Group (MRG) is an international research and
information unit which aims to secure justice for minorities-or majority
groups-suffering discrimination. Its main weapon is publicity and since its
establishment in 1960 the Group has highlighted many cases of oppression of
ethnic, linguistic or religious groups in all parts of the world. In l this
interview, Alan Phillips, who is Director of the MRG, explains the activities of
the Group in more detail and I reveals the scale of the challenge facing his
ACP-EEC Council in Brussels: Sustainable development, the
incorporation of developing countries into the world economy and the alleviation
of poverty: Ministers agreed that these were the priorities for future ACPEEC
development cooperation. But health, food security, education and protection for
vulnerable groups were high on the list too. And the ACP would like faster EC
action on Stabex pay-outs and development finance.
EC Development Council: The EC and its Member States decided to
coordinate their development efforts more closely, and the EC is to put ECU 100
million into a special initiative for rehabilitation in Africa. Development
cooperation should promote human rights and democracy,
DOMINICA: What oil is to Kuweit or sugar to Mauritius, bananas
are to Dominica. 'If bananas do well, Dominica does well' is certainly true, but
there is far more to it than that, say the Dominicans: to them being in the
banana trade and industry is an issue of life or death. The new EC banana import
regime leaves it room to operate as an exporter-even if this is being disputed
within GATT and the European Court of Justice-yet at the same time poses the
dual challenge of raising the quality of its fruit and increasing
its productivity. Pushing ahead meanwhile with further
diversification, air access remains a serious bottleneck to be overcome. Prime
Minister Dame Eugenia Charles puts it all into perspective. Pages 10 to 31.
MOZAMBIQUE: After 14 years of civil war, hundreds of thousands
of deaths, incalculable suffering inflicted upon innocent civilian populations'
and destruction of infrastructure that will bear heavily on the future,
Mozambique's fighters have at last laid down their arms. All the conditions for
a peaceful transition to democracy seem to be in place. But the question that is
in everybody's mind is: can they avoid becoming another Angola? Pages 32 to 43.
DOSSIER: National Minorities
As we approach the end of the 20th century, it would be nice to
believe that mankind had found a way of satisfying its inherent 'group reflex'
without the accompanying mistrust of other groups which so often spills over
into conflict. But the sad reality is that oppression, discrimination,
intolerance and prejudice still pollute the atmosphere of too many societies.
And where this happens, it is the minority communities- people of different
ethnic or cultural origin or those who speak different languages or practice
different religions-who usually suffer. In our Dossier, we examine the 'minority
question' as it affects the world today, with a particular emphasis on the
situation in the European Community and in the countries of the