ALI MOHAMED OSMAN YASSIN
OF THE REPUBLIC
OF THE SUDAN
the Third World Conference against Racism
August 31 st - 7t' September 2001
Allow me at the outset,
to congratulate you on your election to steer this important gathering. Our
congratulations are also extended to the members of the bureau. I would also
like to register our thanks to the people and Government of South Africa for
their hospitality in hosting this world Conference. We salute the heroic struggle
of this great nation against Apartheid; we also pay tribute to the wisdom of
its leadership. We share with the People of South Africa their grief for the
loss of a great son of Africa, the late Govan Mbeke.
My country attaches great
importance to this conference, which we hope will contribute to the creation
of a better world that rids itself of the evils and abhorrence of racism, racial
discrimination, xenophobia and related intolerance. The strict observance and
adherence to the spirit of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and of
the Vienna Declaration and Programme of Action would guide the pursuit of equality
and nondiscrimination in all countries and societies. To reflect the aspirations
of the peoples of the world in their magnificent diversity, governments must
affirm the implementation of economic, social and cultural rights along civil
and political rights. In this context we recognize the importance of the civil
society in assisting governments by proposing and implementing strategies for
the fight against racism, racial discrimination, xenophobia and related intolerance.
Since the adoption of the
Universal Declaration of Human Rights, positive developments took place in the
international, regional and national laws emphasizing and underpinning equality.
Notwithstanding that, racist attitudes still remain entrenched. We also note
with sadness and regret that minorities, indigenous people, migrants, asylum
seekers and refugees still suffer from widespread inequalities and racial discrimination.
Education, Madame President,
remains a key to the promotion of respect for racial, ethnic, cultural and linguistic
diversity of societies, and for the promotion and protection of values, which
are essential to prevent spread of racism, racial discrimination, xenophobia
and related intolerance. New information technologies including the Internet
should contribute to combating racism and should also be used to enhance and
augment tolerance and respect for diversity.
This is the third World
Conference to be held to combat racism, racial discrimination and related intolerance.
It is our desire that the outcome of this conference be recorded by history
as ultimate remedial solutions in the path of creating a world free of racism.
Looking for a better future requires healthy present and in-depth study of the
past. The injustices of the past should be recognized.
The slave trade, particularly
against Africans was an appalling tragedy in the history of humanity, not only
of its abhorrent barbarism but also of its enormous magnitude, its institutionalized
nature and transnational dimension and particularly its negation of the essence
of the victims. History recorded that economic prosperity in some quarters of
the world was built on the miseries of Africa and the Africans. The economic
marginalization of Africa started by its deprivation of capable and strong manpower
by slave trade; followed by the uneven exploitation and sometimes siphoning
of its natural resources during the colonial era, and is culminating nowadays
by virtue of economic globalization where Africa doesn't have the capacity to
compete commercially in the world economy. Justice and fairness necessitate
that those responsible for these injustices should bare the responsibility and
assist in rectifying this unfortunate situation.
It is imperative upon this
World conference to address and. condemn the ongoing Israeli practices of occupation
based on settlement, displacement, blockade, collective punishment and extra
judicial killings against the Palestinian People, committed in flagrant defiance
of the international community and legality.
Our Constitution in the
Sudan was drafted in conformity with the International Bill of Human Rights
particularly those sections that deal with rights, freedoms, duties and responsibilities.
The Constitution stipulates for the freedom and sanctity of life for all Sudanese
and for being free from subjection to slavery, forced labour, humiliation and
torture; for the right of equality before the law and that "there shall
be no discrimination for reasons of sex, race or religious creed"; for
sanctity of life; for freedom of movement; for freedom of creed and worship;
for freedom of thought and expression and for freedom of organization and association.
Article 27 of the constitution stipulates for the sanctity of cultural communities
where "there shall be guaranteed for every community or group of citizens
the right to preserve their particular culture, language or religion, and rear
children freely within the framework of their particularity".
It is only by solidarity,
cooperation and by deepening the understanding that people should have equal
rights, can we confront and circumvent racism. We, however, should endeavor
to inculcate the principles and norms embodied in the UN Charter and relevant
International Covenants in our constitutions and national laws. States are called
upon to take all necessary constitutional, legal, legislative and administrative
measures including appropriate form of affirmative action to prohibit and redress
discrimination in all of its manifestations and ensure that these measures are
respected and implemented by all state authorities at all levels.
Thank you Madame. President.