Preparation for Anti-racism Review Conference Continues
The Preparatory Committee for the 2009 anti-racism review conference decided to establish an intergovernmental working group to continue the process of negotiation and drafting of an outcome document for the anti-racism review conference, and to convene a third substantive session from 15 to 17 April 2009.
"The United Nations Human Rights Council is acting as the Preparatory Committee for the Durban Review Conference - © OHCHR"
When concluding its second substantive session, from 6 to 17 October, the Preparatory Committee mandated the intergovernmental working group to continue negotiations and finalize the drafting of the outcome document for the anti-racism review conference.
“I am encouraged by the tone and by the substance of your deliberations over the last two weeks, so it is my sincere hope that this kind of cooperation and constructive engagement will continue to underpin, inform and shape the next stages of the review process,” High Commissioner for Human Rights Navi Pillay told the Preparatory Committee.
“I am confident that despite the many challenges that lie along the way, the spirit of understanding, accommodation and respect that has characterized the review process thus far will enable all of us to proceed on a common ground,” she said, adding that “by keeping our sight firmly on the shared goal of eradicating racism and intolerance, and by acting in respectful concert we will be able to achieve an outcome that would best serve the victims of racism.”
The purpose of the Preparatory Committee is to prepare for the anti-racism review conference, scheduled to take place in Geneva from 20 to 24 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 aims to strengthen existing mechanisms and also identify concrete measures and initiatives for combating and eliminating these phenomena. It also intends to 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.