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Press Release

Preparatory Committee for the Durban Review Conference holds first organizational session

27 August 2008

Geneva, 27 August 2007: The Preparatory Committee for the Durban Review Conference today begun its first organizational session at the Palais des Nations in Geneva. The General Assembly, at its sixty-first session, decided to convene in 2009 a review conference on the implementation of the Durban Declaration and Programme of Action adopted at the World Conference against Racism, Racial Discrimination, Xenophobia and Related Intolerance in 2001.

The week-long session will decide on the objectives of the Review Conference and its relevant modalities including: the accreditation of participants, Member-States and observers, as well as the organization of two substantive sessions. The organizational session, this morning, adopted a decision on the participation of Non-Governmental Organizations.

The Human Rights Council, per its Resolution 3/2, decided that the Preparatory Committee should have three sessions, one organizational session and two substantive sessions. The Human Rights Council will act as the Preparatory Committee for the Durban Review Conference which shall be open to the participation of all Member States of the United Nations and members of the specialized agencies, as well as to the participation of observers in accordance with the established practice of the United Nations General Assembly.

The Preparatory Committee has a 20-person bureau, representing all the geographical regions.

The session will take place from 27 to 31 August 2007 in Room XVII of the United Nations Office at Geneva.