Preparation for Anti-racism Review Conference Underway
The Preparatory Committee for the 2009 anti-racism review conference is holding its second substantive session, from 6 to 17 October, in Geneva to prepare for a draft outcome document for the 2009 review conference.
"The United Nations Human Rights Council is acting as the Preparatory Committee for the Durban Review Conference - © OHCHR"
In her statement to the session, High Commissioner for Human Rights Navi Pillay urged member states to “travel that extra mile that makes historic change possible”, and to focus on the concrete pledges undertaken in the 2001 anti-racism conference that would help bring an end to all forms of discrimination.
“As we celebrate the 60th anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights this year, we must take stock of the fact that racism, discrimination and intolerance are global problems which must be of concern to all,” the High Commissioner said.
”We also need to recognize that universal human rights norms and standards provide optimal guidance for protecting vulnerable groups from racism and intolerance,” she added.
The purpose of the Preparatory Committee is to prepare for a conference, scheduled for April 2009, which will review progress and assess implementation – at national, regional and international levels – of the Declaration and Plan of Action adopted by the 2001 World Conference against Racism, Racial Discrimination, Xenophobia and Related Intolerance.
The review process will strengthen existing mechanisms and also identify concrete measures and initiatives for combating and eliminating these phenomena. It will also assess the effectiveness of the existing follow-up systems and other relevant UN mechanisms, promote universal ratification and implementation of the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination, and identify and share good practices.
The original World Conference against Racism, Racial Discrimination, Xenophobia and Related Intolerance was held in Durban, South Africa, from 31 August to 8 September 2001. The decision to hold a review conference some time in 2009 was laid down in a 2006 UN General Assembly Resolution.