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close this bookThe Courier N 140 - July - Aug 1993 - Dossier: National Minorities - Country Reports: Dominica, Mozambique (EC Courier, 1993, 96 p.)
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View the documentAlan Phillips


Alan Phillips

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 organization.


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,

Country reports

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 ACP.