The Delegation of
The Republic of Iraq
The World Conference Against Racism, Racial Discrimination,
Xenophobia and Related Intolerance
Durban, South Africa. From 31 St August To 7th September 2001
I would like, in the name of the Government of the Republic of Iraq, to congratulate you on your election to the presidency of the conference. Your experience and wise counsel will certainly be of great use to our efforts and help the conference achieve the best results. We are delighted that this important conference be held in your country, whose people has suffered for many decades under the oppression of apartheid. The Iraqi delegation appreciates the great resistance and sacrifices your people have made and wishes them success and prosperity.
Combating racism, racial discrimination, xenophobia and related intolerance is certainly one of the major aims of the United Nations and one of the purposes of the humanitarian international law. Moreover, humanitarian issues have become a subject of great interest to the international community. But, despite the large number of international conventions, treaties and declarations against such dangerous evils, a lot of problems still persist and have grave consequences which require the present conference to deal with these problems and combat them firmly.
It is well known that racial acts and practices in their different forms have increased in the last decades, especially mass killings, ethnic cleansing, military aggressions, discrimination against asylum seekers, foreign workers and indigenous people, in addition to the new forms of economic monopoly and exploitation of the peoples' resources including the imposition of globalization and the use of economic sanctions at a large scale. All of these, together with the growing feeling of ethnic, cultural or religious superiority, made the world face new dangerous challenges that became obvious through the intensification of economic, social and cultural problems and of human sufferings in many parts of the world.
We regard this conference as a historical opportunity to draw a road map for the elimination of racial acts and practices so as to be replaced with peace, solidarity and tolerance together with the eradication of extreme poverty and the attainment of modernization and development for all, and thus establishing a world order that is just and fair.
Going into the future should not be on the basis of ignoring the past and the present. The future is the continuation of both the past and the present. Therefore the tragedies of the past and the present have to be dealt with and resolved.
Iraq, with its different ethnic groups and minorities, has suffered a lot from different forms of discrimination, injustice and deprivation due to the ongoing, for more than 11 years, of the comprehensive economic sanctions and the continued military aggression. The suffering of the Iraqi people is an obvious example of the racial attitude by the governments of the United States and Britain against the Iraqi people, an attitude that has already led to the death of more than 1.5 million Iraqis.
In the Palestinian occupied territories, the Israeli forces of occupation have been committing crimes against humanity since 1948. While the international community is watching, the Israeli forces of occupation have been committing the worst forms of aggression and racial discrimination against the armless Palestinian people, including the killings of civilians, especially children, isolating the Palestinian villages and towns, imposing economic blockades, destruction of houses, shoveling away the farms and other forms of inhumane practices. The document of the conference has to unmask the real nature and condemn the Zionist racial practices as the international community did in its last conference on Racism.
No doubt that the African continent is the victim that suffered the most from racism, racial discrimination, slavery and human trafficking. All of the African peoples suffered a lot during the era of colonization and foreign occupation, which was characterized by the pillage of the wealth and resources of the African continent. Those colonial powers should be held accountable and have to apologize and compensate the African peoples for their acts during that dark era. There must also be a condemnation of the savage crimes and injustice that were perpetrated against the indigenous people and people of African origins who were victims of enslavement and other forms of slavery.
As we look forward to a new era where justice, equality, security and peace for all prevail, a new era of freedom that has no room for any form of racism, racial discrimination and injustice, we call upon the conference to take its moral and human responsibilities by including in the documents of the declaration and of the conference's program of action a condemnation of all racial acts and practices which lead to mass killings and human suffering including the economic sanctions and military aggression and to demand an end to such acts and measures.