Statement by I. Turyansky
Head of the Ukrainian Delegation,
Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of Ukraine in the Republic of South Africa,
at the World Conference Against Racism, Racial
Xenophobia and Related Intolerance
2 September 2001, Durban
Speaking for the first time at this World Forum I would like to join those speakers who welcomed your appointment to the post of the President of the World Conference. Let me express confidence that under your wise and professional leadership the World Conference will work efficiently and cope with not easy but important tacks, set forth for the Forum.
I have the honour to communicate to you and distinguished participants of the World Conference that the President of Ukraine H.E. Mr. Leonid Kuchma has sent the Address to the Conference. Let me read this address.
I quote: "Distinguished participants of the Conference, I would like
to warmly welcome you on the occasion of holding such humanistic, authoritative
and important front the point. of view of strengthening of common values event.
The activities of the UN institutions and conventional organs, as well us other international organizations, which contributed to preparation and holding the-Conference are worth high endorsement.
I am fully confident that the Forum shall be able to generalize the positive experience of peaceful coexistence among the civilizations and shall become the valuable factor in uniting the efforts to order to create , the conditions for strengthening international cooperation to jointly counteract racism, racial discrimination and intolerance, as well as to prevent the emergence and spread of these ugly forms.
We wish to believe that in future the people shall never reproduce the disgraceful phenomena of the past, shall not feel hatred and fear in relations between each other, while the principles of tolerance, confidence and respect shall become the norm of relations between people.
Ukraine has always and consistently pursued the policy against racism and racial discrimination. Ten years of independent development of the state has become the evidence of its determination to ensure consolidation of the of the civil society irrespective of ethnic religious and other distinctions.
The visit to our state in June 2001 of the Head of the Holy See Pope John Paul-11-has become another-important confirmatinn of strive of Ukraine fur making Her contribution into common development of the Mankind.
Having declared this year the International Year of Dialogue Among the Civilizations the United Nations Organization had the purpose to call the international currnmunity to make everything possible to ensure, that this dialogue take place in peace and harmony.
Thus I would like to wish to. the participants of the Conference successful work and adoption of the decisions, which will contribute to unification of efforts of the international community to the benefit of the Mankind and its future"
Quite recently the Humanity has entered into the Third Millenium. During the period, that had passed, the Mankind has achieved considerable progress in development in many spheres, including that of human rights. But certain serious problems still remain. They require coordinated actions of the whole world community. Many of these problems have historical roots, and among them - racism, racial discrimination and xenophobia. And the very fact of convening today the World Conference Against Racism, Racial Discrimination, Xenophobia and Related Intolerance is the evidence, that the international community fully realizes existence of such phenomena and is intended to undertake the efforts required to eliminate them.
In, this context I would like to stress that during the years, that had passed, the United Nations had made considerable contribution to the struggle against racism and racial discrimination. The UN General Assembly on the regular basis had considered these issues, adopting relevant resolutions. The UN Security Council, the ECOSOC, other UN bodies also paid due attention in their activities to different aspects of these phenomena.
But racism still exists. Moreover, it takes new forms such as xenophobia, intolerance, violation of human rights of national minorities, migrants etc. It is important to ensure comprehensive approach to effectively fight them. The activities of the UN institutions, other international organizations, as well as activities of the states should further be intensified. From our perspective, the activities of the UN Committee on the elimination of racial discrimination and the UN Committee on Human Rights are very and to protect the victims of Racism.
We also share the opinion, that the Governments on the their part should guarantee renderaing effective help to the victims of racism and racial discrimination in particular - through adopting adequate national legislation ' and providing appropriate legal protection.
. In this context we think the. issue of effective law protection of the victims of tm ism to be considered by the Conference is very important one.
The International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination should serve the basis for international cooperation in this sphere. Ratification or signing the Convention by the majority of states and implementation of its provisions are crucial to achieve aims of the Third Decade of the Struggle Againstt Racism and Racial Discrimination. We fully endorse the provision of the Draft Programme of Action containing the appeal to the countries which haven't ratified the Convention yet, to consider its ratification as a priority issue and also to exercise commitments under the article 14 of the Convention.
In our view the mass-media may play important role in fighting racism and racial discrimination, xenophobia and related intolerance.
It's also necessary to pay on national level more attention to these phenomina in the educational programmes.
The Institute of Ombudsmen, as well as other national institutions may also serve effective instruments.
We support the proposal to 'reflect in the final document of the Conference the strategy of partnership for solidarity, namely - introduction of the programme, aimed at sustainable development of the least developed countries in the context of the initiative of the African states. The strategy of partnership is a key principle of activity to the benefit of stable development of these countries. At the same time it may serve as preventive mechanism to counteract racism, racial discrimination, xenophobia and intolerance,
Ukraine is a Party to the International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination. Ukrainian legislation guarantees in full the respect of human rights and fundamental freedoms and ensures equality in political, economic, social, cultural, and other spheres of public life for all citizens without, distinction of their race, color, national or ethic origin: etc. The Institute of the Ombudsman for Human Rights of the Verkhovna Dada (the Parliament) of Ukraine has been established in the state several years ago.
In August 2001 in Geneva at the S9-th Session of the UN Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination there were represented two Ukrainian periodical reports on the implementation of the provisions of International Convention on Elimination of all Forms of Racial Discrimination. In the conclusions the members of the Committee in positive terms evaluated implementation of legislative reform by our State, in particular, in the sphere of citizenship, immigration and refugees. They also noted the measures aimed at the improvement of the educational system in the languages of minorities.
The World Conference gives us the possibility to widely discuss the whole spectrum of issues, related to racism, racial discrimination, xenophobia and intolerance, once again to consider the lessons of the past mid to elaborate the recommendations in respect of activities to be undertaken to eliminate these disgraceful phenomena in future. Let me wish all of us productive work, approval of sound decisions, which will correspond to the noble tasks, set forth. for the Conference.