High Commissioner for Human Rights welcomes revised Review Conference draft
The UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, Navi Pillay, on Wednesday welcomed the release of a significantly shorter draft outcome document for the Durban Review Conference, which is due to be held in April, and said she hoped the introduction of this latest version of the draft would be a “major turning point” in preparations for the conference.
"We now have a good, solid basis for states to consider as we enter the final stretch leading up to the Review Conference," Pillay said. "I really hope that this marks the necessary breakthrough needed to achieve consensus on a text that must offer concrete help to hundreds of groups and millions of individuals who are subjected to racism and other forms of intolerance all across the world. No continent, indeed no individual country, is free of these dangerous phenomena, and it would be inexcusable if states failed to reach consensus on such important issues."
The latest draft text is a much shorter, but still substantive, version of a text that has been under discussion since January. It was produced by the Chair of the working group established to negotiate a draft outcome document, Yuri Boychenko of the Russian Federation, after consultations at the expert level. Boychenko will continue to consult informally on this “rolling” document during the coming weeks, leading up to a Preparatory Committee meeting from 15-17 April, just before the Review Conference.
"Thanks to those who have been working, and contributing with good will, to produce this latest text – despite the sustained and sometimes distorted criticisms that have dogged this Conference process – I believe there should now be no major barrier to reaching a successful outcome," Pillay said, after the release of the new version of the draft outcome document on Tuesday. "I urge all states to refrain from taking narrow politicized or polemical stances on particular issues, and to work together for the remainder of the process towards a successful outcome for the victims of racial discrimination and intolerance around the world."