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
4 September 2001




On Monday, 3 September, Working Group I on the Draft Declaration and Working Group II on the Draft Programme of Action each held three meetings. Working Group I is being chaired by Marc Bossuyt of Belgium, and Working Group II is being chaired by Bonaventure M. Bowa of Zambia.

Texts Adopted -- Working Group I, Draft Declaration

The group, on Monday, considered preambular paragraph 43 and the following operative paragraphs of the draft declaration (document A/CONF.189/4): 10, 36, 38, 39, 60, 65, 66, 72, 73, 76, 77, 78, 79, 80, 81, 82, 83, 84, 86, 88, 89, 92, 96, 97, 99, 100, 101, 103, 104, 105, 106, 107, 108, 109, 110 and 112.

It adopted eight operative paragraphs: 79, 83, 88, 89, 103, 104, 105 and 109.

The texts adopted by Working Group I are contained in Annex I.

Texts Adopted -- Working Group II, Draft Action Programme

On Sunday night (6 to 9 p.m.) the group adopted paragraph 87.

On Monday, the group adopted the following seven paragraphs of the draft programme of action (document A/CONF.189/5): 70, 90, 93, 98, 178, 183 and 185.

The texts adopted by Working Group II are contained in Annex II.


The following paragraphs were adopted by Working Group I:

79. We recognize that a child belonging to an ethnic, religious or linguistic minority or who is indigenous shall not be denied the right, individually or in community with other members of his or her group, to enjoy his or her own culture, to profess and practise his or her own religion, or to use his or her language; (ADOPTED by the WG 3/9)

83. We note with deep concern the fact that, in many countries, people infected or affected by HIV/AIDS, as well as those who are presumed to be infected, belong to groups vulnerable to racism, racial discrimination, xenophobia and related intolerance, which has a negative impact and impedes their access to health care and medication; (ADOPTED by WG 3/9)

88. We reaffirm the solemn commitment of all States to promote universal respect for, and observance and protection of, all human rights, economic, social, cultural, civil and political, including the right to development, as a fundamental factor in the prevention and elimination of racism, racial discrimination, xenophobia and related intolerance; (Adopted by the 3rd PrepCom except bracketed part / ADOPTED by WG 3/9)

89. We firmly believe that the obstacles to overcoming racial discrimination and achieving racial equality mainly lie in the lack of political will, weak legislation, lack of implementation strategies and concrete action by States, as well as the prevalence of racist attitudes and negative stereotyping; (ADOPTED by WG 3/9)

103. We note with regret that certain media, by promoting false images and negative stereotypes of vulnerable groups and individuals, particularly of migrants and refugees, have contributed to the spread of xenophobic and racist sentiments among the public and in some cases have encouraged violence by racist individuals and groups; (ADOPTED by WG 3/9)

104. We recognize the positive contribution the exercise of the right to freedom of expression, particularly by the media and new technologies, including the Internet, and full respect for the freedom to seek, receive and impart information can make to the fight against racism, racial discrimination, xenophobia and related intolerance. We reiterate the need to respect the editorial independence and autonomy of the media in this regard; (ADOPTED by WG 3/9)

105. We express deep concern about the use of new information technologies, such as the Internet, for purposes contrary to respect for human values, equality, non-discrimination, respect for others and tolerance, including to propagate racism, racial hatred, xenophobia, racial discrimination and related intolerance, and that particularly children and youth having access to this material, could be negatively influenced by it; (ADOPTED by WG 3/9)

109. We recognize that education at all levels and all ages, including within the family, in particular human rights education, is a key to changing attitudes and behaviour based on racism, racial discrimination, xenophobia and related intolerance and to promoting tolerance and respect for diversity in societies. We further affirm that such education is a determining factor in the promotion, dissemination and protection of democratic values of justice and equity which are essential to prevent and combat the spread of racism, racial discrimination, xenophobia and related intolerance; (ADOPTED by WG 3/9)


The following paragraphs were adopted by Working Group II on the draft Programme of Action as at 9 p.m. 3 September:

70. Urges States to adopt and implement, or strengthen, national legislation and administrative measures that expressly and specifically counter racism
and prohibit racial discrimination, xenophobia and related intolerance whether direct or indirect, in all spheres of public life in accordance with their obligations under the International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination ensuring that their reservations are not contrary to the object and purpose of the Convention; ADOPTED by WG on 3/9.

87. Urges States to seek full respect for, and compliance with, the Vienna Convention on Consular Relations of 1963, especially as it relates to the right of foreign nationals, regardless of their legal and immigration status, to communicate with a consular officer of their own State in the case of arrest or detention; ADOPTED by WG on 2/9

90. Urges States to make every effort to fully apply the relevant provisions of the Declaration on Fundamental Principles and Rights at Work of 1998 of the ILO, in order to combat racism, racial discrimination, xenophobia and related intolerance. (ADOPTED by WG on 3/9)

93. Urges States to adopt effective measures to combat criminal acts motivated by racism, racial discrimination, xenophobia and related intolerance, to take measures so that such motivations be considered an aggravating factor for the purposes of sentencing, to prevent these crimes from going unpunished and to ensure the rule of law; (ADOPTED by WG on 3/9)

98. Calls upon States to criminalize all forms of trafficking in persons, in particular women and children and to condemn and penalize traffickers and intermediaries, while ensuring protection and assistance to the victims of trafficking with full respect for their human rights;(ADOPTED by WG on 3/9)

178. Encourages States, regional and international organizations, including financial institutions, as well as civil society, to address within existing mechanisms or where necessary to put in place and/or develop mechanisms to address those aspects of globalization which may lead to racism, racial discrimination, xenophobia and related intolerance; (ADOPTED by WG on 3/9)

183. Urges the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization to provide support to States in the preparation of teaching materials and tools for promoting teaching, training and educational. activities relating to human rights and the struggle against racism, racial discrimination, xenophobia and related intolerance; (ADOPTED by WG on 3/9)

185. Urges States to facilitate to victims of racial discrimination, including victims of torture and ill treatment, access to all appropriate legal procedures and free legal assistance in a manner adapted to their specific needs and vulnerability, including through legal representation; (ADOPTED by WG on 3/9)

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