World Conference against Racism, Racial Discrimination, Xenophobia and Related Intolerance

Department of Public Information - News and Media Services Division - New York
Durban, South Africa
31 August 7 September 2001
RD/D/28
3 September 2001

 

HIGH COMMISSIONER FOR HUMAN RIGHTS URGES CONTINUED EFFORTS
AFTER UNITED STATES DECISION TO LEAVE ANTI-RACISM TALKS

The following statement was issued this evening by High Commissioner for Human Rights and Secretary-General of the World Conference against Racism Mary Robinson:

"The preparatory process leading up to the World Conference, though difficult, has begun to produce tangible results. It has brought to light the plight of numerous groups, and drawn forth a broad range of proposals which have the capacity to bring tangible relief to the victims of racism, racial discrimination, xenophobia and related intolerance.

"The texts already adopted during the preparatory process and at this Conference so far are constructive. The process is continuing. On three groups of difficult issues, claims relating to past injustices, the situation in the Middle East, and recital of grounds of discrimination, serious informal processes are under way -- in some instances at the highest levels.

"I truly regret the decision of the United States to leave the Conference. Nevertheless, I believe that the journey we began must continue until the end of the Conference with a view to achieving a successful outcome.

"We must persist in our endeavours. The victims of racism, racial discrimination, xenophobia and related intolerance demand this of us. As the Secretary-General said a few days ago, 'If we leave here without agreement, we shall give comfort to the worst elements in every society'. All of us must continue to play our part."


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