Durban Review Conference: Working Group to Continue Negotiations
A working group set up in Geneva to continue negotiations on what will become the draft outcome document for next year’s Durban Review Conference has begun holding informal consultations with regional groups to agree on how to organize its work over the coming months. In its first formal meeting, on Thursday, 27 November, the intersessional open-ended intergovernmental working group elected its first Chair, Russian diplomat Yuri Boychenko.
Members of a Gypsy community in Spain: The 2001 World Conference against Racism called for developing equality for groups such as Roma and Gypsies. © UN Photo
The High Commissioner for Human Rights, Navi Pillay, serves as the Secretary-General of the Review Conference, and a Preparatory Committee (PrepCom) whose work is open to all UN Member States, is charged with overseeing substantive negotiations on the text that will become the outcome document of the Review Conference.
At its last session in October, the PrepCom compiled and began to review six submissions from regional and other groups towards the draft outcome document and agreed that other contributions would be entertained during the negotiations. At the conclusion of its October meeting, the PrepCom established the intersessional open-ended intergovernmental working group to continue the process of negotiation and drafting in between formal PrepCom sessions.
The intersessional open-ended intergovernmental working group will hold informal consultations over the coming weeks to streamline the current compilation of documents that will serve as a basis for further negotiations. The first formal session of the working group will be held 19 – 23 January, 2009.
The Preparatory Committee will hold its final substantive session in Geneva from 15 to 17 April 2009, shortly before the Review Conference itself, to approve what is planned to be the draft outcome document.