Madame Chairperson

Mexico pays tribute to the heroic struggle of the South African people against the opprobrious Apartheid regime. We thank the warm welcome and hospitality of the people arid government of South Africa, I congratulate you for your election to the presidency and offer you absolute cooperation of my delegation during this historical meeting.

Racism, racial discrimination, xenophobia and all forms of intolerance constitute grave violations of hurnan rights. Mexico is firmly committed to the eliminination of
this Scourge. We came to Durban determined to make that this Conference contributes to the construction of a universal culture that promotes full respect to the dignity of all hurnan beings and offers to each and every person equal oppurtunities for development.

In Mexico, as part of the national preparatory process, the Executiveundertook broad consultations with the Legislative and Judicial branches, and engaged in a dialogue and exchange of ideas with various sectors of civil society, including NGO's, youth and children. There is no precedent at the national level of such extensive consultations prior to any other World Conference,

Mexico acknowledges in this forum that it is a country where large sectors of the population are discriminated against and excluded from opportunities. For the first time in our history, the Mexican Congress has approved a meaningful legal reform, which prohibits in article 1 of our Constitution, any form of discrimination to the detriment to the rights and opportunities of our citizens. The Fox administration has expressed a clear commitment against discrimination and fully supports the activities of the "Citizen Commission for Studies against Discrimination ", a civil and plural body, where public authorities, political parties, civil organizations and specialists participate. Its objectives are to propose a law to prevent and eliminate all forms of discrimination and to establish a national institution to promote equal opportunities for all mexicans.

Mexico endorses the conclusions adopted by the Regional Conference of the Americas which reaffirmed the principles of equality and respect of human rights and fundamental freedoms, regardless of race, colour, sex, langauge, health, age, religion, political or other beliefs, nationality or social origin, birth or any other status, enshrined as basic principles of international law and international human rights standards.

Taking into account that manifestations of racism, racial discrimination xenophobia and related intolerance are expressed in different ways around the world, our country believes that the protection against such acts should be deemed as a right that can be claimed by any citizen, in other words as a guarentee for the individual that cannot be conditioned by any particular or special circumstance for it's fulfillment.

This World Conference will establish an anti-discriminatory agenda for tire 21st century', and should begin by recognizing that actions such as conquest, colonialism arid slavery are the historical sources of racism and other forms of discrimination. If today, such practices took place they should be regarded as national crimes against humanity and thus be subject to compensation and restitution.

Developed Countries arid privileged groups within poor nations have a historical debt with vulnerable groups The compensation of this debt should be the ethical concept at the base, of national and international policies. It should be assumed as a shared responsibility expressed through policies, the promotion of basic needs and the creation of opportunities for large discriminated social sectors all should not be reduced to "settling of debts" or public expiation without beneficial consequences for those affected. The reparation of damage should fundamentally be a common commitment for development and a creation of opportunities

This Conference offers a unique oppurtunity to enhance the recognition of the rights of indigenous peoples, in accordance with the principels of sovereignty and territorial integrity of States and under the criteria of a constitutionalism valid for all people,subject to reform and democratic, that promotes the development of a plurienthical and multicultural country as Mexico. For this reason, we support and promote the necessary constitutional, administrative, legislative and judicial reforms, including those resulting from applicable international instruments, in order to promote, protect and guarentee the exercise of their, human rights and fundamental freedoms, recognizing that this is a prerequisite to eliminate racial discrimination and intolerance. Our country proposes to adopt and promote all necessary measures to guarentee the full enjoyment of the rights of indigenous peoples - both individual and collective- under an equal and non discriminatory basis, including their free and full participation in all areas of society, especially in those matters that affect them, and to promote the knowledge and respect for the indigenous cultures and heritage.

Mexico as a country of origin, destiny and transit of important migratory flows is convinced that this Conference should make a precise statement against discrimination suffered by migrants. In accordance with the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and other international instruments, our country urges all States to respect and guarentee the human rights of all individuals within their territories or jurisdiction, egardless of their migratory status, as well as to work towards the decrimilization of undocumented migrants.

It is fundamental to recognize the positive contribution of migration to economic social and cultural development of the countries of origin and destiny and the necessary link between migration and globalization. At the same time it is essential to acknowledge that xenophobia against migrants is one of the main manifestations of contempory forms of racism and that effective measures should be urgently implemented to eliminate these acts.

This Conference must not forget the discrimination suffered by disabled people who constitute 10% of the worlds population. People with any kind of disability frequently are victims of discriminatory acts and generally lack of adequate access to educational, sanitary, cultural and employment oppurtunities. Thai situation worsens when countries as mine, with a low index of human development are unable to guarentee oppurtunities for their personla, proffesional, social, occupational and economic development.

Facing the fact that disabled persons constitute one of the few vulnerable groups without an integral international bimding instrument within the United Nations Mexico prposes that this Conference recommends the General Assembly to consider the elaboration of an International Convention to protect the rights of this important sector of the world population.

This Conference would not be complete if it did not acknowledge, within cultural, ethnic and racial diversity the existence of gender relations that translate into discriminatory practices against 50% of the world population: women. Mexico deems it neccessary to guarentee equality among women and men and the fulfillment of all their rights and oppurtunities without distinction of race, colour, gender, sexual orientation, language, religion, political or other opinion, national and social origin, birth or other status.

In order to update our legal framework. we are pleased to inform this plenary that last month the Interpretative Declaration of Article 14 of the Convention, for the Elimination of all Forms of Racial Discrimination, as well as the Protocol to the Convention for the Elimination of all Forms of Discrimination against Women, were submitted to the Mexican Congress for their ratification, in order to recognize competence of both Committees to receive and consider communicaticns from individuals or groups that claim to be victims of human rights violations set forth in these international instruments

We consider that education is a fundamental tool for the comprehensive cultural change that Mexico intends to acchieve in order to eliminate all forms of discrimination and to promote real equal oppurtunities and mutual respect among individuals.

The people and government of Mexico reaffirm its commitment to comply and follow-up of all the agreements reached at this Conference; to a social reform that enable our countries to become domains of justice for all; to the construction of a full citizenship; to make this century the one in which democracy is consolidated all over the world; to advance in the civilizing and learning processes of living together and being different, to accomplish the dream of the society of equals starting with the recognition of our differences.

Thank you very much.