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Press Release

Review Conference on racism, discrimination and intolerance to be held in Geneva in April 2009

26 May 2008

GENEVA -- The Preparatory Committee announced Monday it had agreed to hold a review conference on racism, racial discrimination, xenophobia, and related intolerance (also known as the Durban Review Conference) in Geneva from 20-24 April 2009.

The date, duration and venue of the conference were still outstanding at the end of a two-week meeting of the Preparatory Committee (PrepCom) earlier in May, and the session was briefly resumed on Monday to complete the initial planning of the conference.

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 purpose of the review conference, which was reaffirmed by the PrepCom, is to 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. 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 review process will, in addition, identify concrete measures and initiatives for combating and eliminating these phenomena.

The PrepCom – which is open to all UN member states – had already reached agreement on a range of fundamental issues including the accreditation of NGOs and the process involved in drafting the review conference's outcome document. An intergovernmental working group started work on the content of that document on Monday.

The Preparatory Committee is expected to hold a second and final substantive session towards the end of the year. A number of regional sessions will also be held, with the first scheduled to take place in Brasilia from 17-19 June 2008.