Statement by


Minister of Justice


Before the Third World Conference against Racism

August 31 st - 7t' September 2001


Madame President,

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.

Madame President,

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.

Madame President,

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.

Madame. President,

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.

Madame. President,

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.

Madame. President,

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".

Madame President,

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.