18/05/2001
Press Release
HR/4532



FINAL PREPARATORY MEETING BEFORE WORLD CONFERENCE AGAINST RACISM


TO BE HELD IN GENEVA FROM 21 MAY TO 1 JUNE 2001


(Reissued as received.)


GENEVA, 18 May (UN Information Service) -- The second and final session of the Preparatory Committee of the forthcoming World Conference against Racism, Racial Discrimination, Xenophobia and Related Intolerance opens in Geneva on Monday, 21 May 2001.


Participants in the session, which is open to all States, will have two weeks to try to find consensus on what the draft declaration and programme of action they are to forward for negotiation and adoption at the World Conference should look like.


As a basis for debate, delegates will have before them proposals for inclusion in the draft declaration and programme of action flowing from the preparatory process (see document A/CONF.189/PC.2/27).


The draft programme of action which the World Conference will consider when it meets in Durban, South Africa, later this year is to be built around the following themes:


-- the sources, cause, forms and contemporary manifestations of racism, racial discrimination and related intolerance;


-- victims of racism, racial discrimination and related intolerance;


-- measures of prevention, education and protection aimed at the eradication of racism, racial discrimination and related intolerance at the national, regional and international levels;


-- provision for effective remedies, recourses, redress [compensatory] and other measures at the national, regional and international levels (the bracket indicates that a consensus is still to be reached on the inclusion of the word "compensatory");


-- and strategies to achieve full and effective equality,  including international cooperation and enhancement of the United Nations and other international mechanisms in combating racism, racial discrimination, xenophobia.


The second session of the Preparatory Committee comes in the wake of two preliminary meetings held in March and earlier this month in Geneva that brought together States, intergovernmental and non-governmental organizations to discuss the elements that would go into the draft declaration and programme of action.  Previously, regional intergovernmental preparatory meetings were held in Strasbourg, Santiago de Chile, Dakar and Tehran in 2000 and 2001.


Regional expert seminars were also held in Geneva, Warsaw, Bangkok, Addis Ababa and Santiago de Chile.  The seminars focused on issues such as refugees and multi-ethnic states, remedies available to victims, protection of minorities, migrants and trafficking of persons, ethnic conflicts and economic and social measures for vulnerable groups.


The World Conference will take place from 31 August to 7 September in Durban.  High Commissioner for Human Rights Mary Robinson is the Secretary-General of the World Conference.


Please direct media queries to Jose Diaz, tel. +41 22 917 92 42;

fax +41 22 917 90 04; e-mail jdiaz.hchr@unog.ch. 


Further background information and documents are available at the Web site of the World Conference, www.unhchr.ch/html/racism/index.htm.


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