THE REPUBLIC OF KOREA
H. E. Mrs. Han Myeong-Sook
Minister for Gender Equality
Republic of Korea
World Conference Against Racism, Racial Discrimination,
Xenophobia and Related Intoleranoe
2 September 2001 Durban
Distinguished Excellencies, Delegates, Mr. Chair, Ladies and Gentlemen,
It is a great pleasure to join all of you on this valuable occasion for the international community to renew its commitment to eliminating racism and racial discrimination. It is impossible to imagine a more fitting venue for this august gathering, and I would like to pay tribute to the people of South Africa who have overcome the horror of apartheid.
I would also like to express my sincere gratitude to Madame High Commissioner Mary Robinson for her outstanding leadership and dedication, which have been vital for the success of this conference.
Since the convening of the First and Second World Conferenes against Racism and Racial Discrimination, the world community has seen significant achievements in its fight against racial discrimination. Chief among these achievements is the growing recognition that the eradication of racism and racial discrimination is a crucial element in the full protection of human rights. Further, we have corne to realize that discrimination and exclusion based on nationality, culture, religion and language tan be eliminated only through the concerted efforts of the world community. Despite the international community's untiring efforts to eradicate racism and racial discrimination, too many continue to fall victim to various forms of racism, racial discrimination, xenophobia and related intolerances.
Movement across national borders has become a common phenomenon as a result of globalization and economic integration. Yet, there are virtually no safeguards for the protection of the rights of migrant workers, including illegal migrant workers, from discriminatory and unjust treatment, as well as human rights violations. Special tare should be taken to protect the rights of such vulnerable groups.
This Conference will be a historic opportunity for thé world community to recall once more thé pledges made at previous conférences and renew its commitment to fully implementing them. The Korean government wholeheartedly supports a world free of racism, racial discrimination, xenophobia and related intolerances where diversity is celebrated and we are fully committed to doing our part in building such a world. We sincerely hope that thé Déclaration and thé Programme of Action, being negotiated by national delegations, will be concrete, forward-looking documents that will serve as a valuable guide to us in our historic endeavor. Once they are adopted, Korea will strive for their full implementation.