Republic of the Sudan
H.E. Mr. Rahamtalla Mohamed Osman Elnor
Undersecretary, Ministry of Foreign Affairs
22 September 2011
- Statement: English (Check against delivery)
RAHAMTALLA MOHAMED OSMAN ELNOR, Undersecretary, Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Sudan, addressed the Meeting on behalf of the Group of African States, describing the occasion as an opportunity not only to commemorate the Durban Declaration, but also to renew and reaffirm global political commitment to the full and effective implementation of all the Durban outcomes. The African Group was encouraged that in Durban’s wake, Governments had adopted progressive legislative and administrative measures to effectively combat racism and racial discrimination, protect the rights of migrants and ethnic or linguistic minorities, and combat incitement to hatred based on religious belief.
Yet, racism and intolerance persisted, routinely resulting in human rights violations, he noted, adding that they could also cause violence and suffering. The African Group remained concerned about diminishing civil liberties and was alarmed by “assaults on human rights and resurgence of violent incidents of racism”. Noting positive steps taken by Member States and the United Nations to oppose such actions, he said such efforts must be complemented and strengthened through responsible media awareness campaigns and the promotion, through education systems, of the principles of tolerance, mutual respect and understanding.
In light of persistent challenges in implementing the aims of the Durban outcomes, he said, States should translate the commitments outlined in those documents into concrete action. Greater resolve and political will were needed to tackle racism in all its forms, in all parts of the world, including areas under foreign occupation. The momentum gained by convening today’s Meeting created further impetus for States to accelerate implementation of the laudable objectives of the Durban outcomes.
He went on to reiterate that slavery and the transatlantic slave trade, apartheid and colonialism, and new and emerging forms of slavery such as human trafficking, must never be forgotten. In that regard, the African Group welcomed the actions undertaken towards commemorating the 200th anniversary of the end of the transatlantic slave trade and the establishment of a permanent memorial at United Nations Headquarters, he said.